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Full text of "A history of the Swedish-Americans of Minnesota"

NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES 



3 3433 08180185 8 



V 



c 



.:-'. j.\ AND 
■^ JN.0*TION8. 




JOHN A. JOHNSON 



A HISTORY OF 

The Swedish-Americans 



OF 



MINNESOTA 



A Concise Record of the Struggles and Achievements of the Karly 

Settlers, together with a narrative of what is now being 

done by the Swedish-Americans of Minnesota in the 

development of their Adopted Country. 



ILLUSTRATED 



WITH THE VALUABLE COLLABORATION OF 
NUMEROUS AUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTORS 



COMPILED AND EDITED BY 

A. E. STRAND 



VOL. I 



PUBLISHED BY 

THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY 

CHICAGO 

1910 



u ', ,'.>{ 



j^t I, 




4S5!>86 

> 1910 I. 



PREFACE. 

Not a few great waves of emigration have rolled over the territory 
of the United States, but none have been more impressive, or contributed! 
in a more marked degree to the prosperity and stability of the national 
character, than that which has originated in the Scandinavian countries 
of the old world. Further, none is more worthy of an analysis in detail 
than the continuous emigration of the hardy, industrious, home-loving 
and religious Swedes, with the founding of a most virile and progressive 
progeny in the North Star State. 

Like Sweden itself, the state of Minnesota is especially adapted to 
provide all the natural conditions for the development of a race of 
Swedish-Americans who are hardy and active, both physically and intel- 
lectually. North Star State — the very name speaks of sparkling waters, 
a clear, bracing climate, and all that stands for a life of purity and high 
endeavor! The Swedish-Americans of Minnesota have, in truth, fixed 
their habitation in the very section of the United States which is most 
perfectly adapted to preserve the massive, intense traits of the old North- 
men, and yet modify and electrify them with a distinctive American spirit. 
The purpose of this work, "A History of the Swedish-Americans of 
Minnesota," is to expand these general ideas, and furnish a classified mass 
of facts which conclusively prove that too much credit cannot be accorded 
the Swedish immigrants, and Swedish-American citizens, for the wonder- 
ful and high development of the great North Star State. To the end 
that this purpose may be fully accomplished, the old-world origin of this 
fundamental racial element is traced into the very mists of mythology. 
The half-savage, but manly and virtuous Norsemen are vividly pictured 
in the gloomy forests and green fields of northern Europe. The scene 
of tireless action and bold, patient endeavor, then shifts to the land of 
dense forests and bright fields of this Northland known as Minnesota. 
The reader realizes, as never before, the splendid contributions which 
these people brought to this section of the Union — contributions, espe- 
cially, of industry, domesticity, moralit}' and religion. 

iii 



IV 



PREFACE 



As these were the dominant traits of the pioneer immigrants, and 
are still the characteristics of the Swedish-Americans of today, this work 
is largely devoted to the history of the large part which they have played 
in the growth of agriculture, business and industries of Minnesota, and 
the splendid work of consecrating so large a share of their lives to the 
founding and promotion of educational and religious institutions. The 
remark has been well made that the Swedish-Americans of today more 
closely abide by the conscientious and religious spirit of the Puritans of 
New England than any other element of American nationality. This 
statement is fully borne out by this work ; and an addition may be made 
to the effect that in the Swedish-Americans, both of Minnesota and the 
Union, may be found one of the strong safeguards against the establish- 
ment of frivolity and irreligion as dominant traits of the national 
character. 

The compiler desires to extend his sincere thanks to each and every 
one who has assisted him with information or by contributing articles 
for the book : also to those who have kindly permitted the gleaning of 
data and facts from works published by them, especially the Reverend 
Dr. E. Norelius, Mr. Robert Gronberger, Mr. Alfred Soderstrom and 
many others. The book is admittedly not as complete as might be desired, 
but we hope that the younger generation of Swedish-Americans will find 
especially the introductory articles interesting reading. Special stress 
has been laid on and much work devoted to the biographical part, and 
the articles of the various church denominations should be very valuable 
for coming generations. They will appreciate these volumes and preserve 
them as a sacred treasure from the fact that they contain much that 
else would never have found its way into public record. Great care has 
been taken and every opportunity possible given to those represented to 
insure correctness in what has been written. 

The faces and biographical sketches of many will be missed here. 
For this the compiler is not to blame. Not having a proper conception 
of the work, some refused to give the information necessary to com- 
plete a sketch, while others were indifferent. 

Considering the large number of contributors, it is but natural that 
the style of the book, as a whole, should be somewhat uneven, and 
much literary merit is not claimed for it. That some errors and fallacies 



PREFACE V 

will be found we have no doubt. Errare humammi est. Our solace is 
that we have done the best we could. 

With these introductory words, "A History of the Swedish-Ameri- 
cans of Minnesota" is presented to the book-world, the design of its 
publication being- to give due credit to the work and character of this 
fine people in the welding and development of the Typical American; 
to encourage our fellow-countrymen in the well-doing which they have 
so definitely marked out ; and to demonstrate to those who are not thor- 
oughly informed the value of such service and radical traits in the 
composition of our nationality. 

A. E. STRAND. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 
Our Forefathers i 

CHAPTER n. 
A Glance at the History of Sweden 19 

CHAPTER HI. 
The Founding of New Sweden — 1637-1642 40 

CHAPTER IV. 
Swedish Impress on American Culture 62 

CHAPTER V. 
Minnesota as a State 69 

CHAPTER VI. 
Influence of the Swedes Upon the State's Growth.. loi 

CHAPTER VII. 
Swedish Musical Life in Minnesota 106 

CHAPTER VIII. 
Land Claims, Pioneers and Indians 122 

CHAPTER IX. 
The Swedish Lutheran Church in Minnesota 137 

CHAPTER X. 
Swedish Methodism in Minnesota 201 

CHAPTER XI. 
The Swedish Mission Friends 221 

CHAPTER XII. 
The Swedish Baptists of Minnesota 251 

CHAPTER XIII. 

The Swedish-American Episcopal Church in Minnesota 267 

vii 



viii CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XIV. 
The Swede of Minnesota in Educational Affairs 271 

CHAPTER XV. 
The Swedish- American Press of Minnesota 299 

CHAPTER XVI. 
Minnesota Swedes in the Civil War 317 

CHAPTER XVII. 
Sioux War of 1862 340 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
Chisago County 3^7 

CHAPTER XIX. 
Washington County 4^5 

CHAPTER XX. 
Goodhue County 4^4 

CHAPTER XXI. 
.Carver County • 4°7 

CHAPTER XXII. 
City of Minneapolis 495 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
The Swedes of St. Paul 854 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
City of Duluth 1002 

CHAPTER XXV. 
Leading Citizens of Minnesota 1028 



INDEX 



Ackeisou. Peter, 1145. 

Ahi, lljalinar, 1015. 

Ahlffren, Charles P., 1125. 

Ahlquist, Albin, 843. 

Ahlstroni, Gustaf A., 1036. 

Akenson, Nels P., 725. 
Akerniark, Gudmund, 315. 

Alexandria District Swedish Lutheran 
Congregations, O.scar Lake, Norunga 
(Douglas County), Holmes City, Alex- 
andria, Lake Ida, Pryksande, Chris- 
tine Lake, Zionsborg, Evansville 
(Douglas County), Hoffman, Vauers- 
borg, Kensington, Swan Lake, Eagle 
Lake, Gothalund, Parker's Prairie, 
Ester (Otter Tail County), Falun, 
Spruce Hill, Fergus Falls, Elbow 
Lake, Herman, Fridhem (Grant 
County), Swede Grove, and Eliza- 
beth, 172-173. 

Alexandria District Swedish Lutheran 
Church, 172. 

Alfvegren, J. V., 986. 

Algren, John. 1133. 

Allen Family, 818. 

Allen, Frank Oscar, 818. 

Allen, Gustavus Wilhelm, 822. 

Allen, Johan Ernest, 821. 

Allen, John Gottfrid, 818. 

Allen, Peter N., 461. 

Almen, Louis G., 1069. 

Almquist, Eev. Peter A., 269. 

Alving, Otto E., 836. 

American Congregationalist, 236. 

"Amphion Quartet Club," 109. 

Anderson, Alfred J., 564. 

Anderson, Alvin Ferdinand, 579. 

Anderson, Andrew, 654. 

Anderson, Andrew, 748. 

Anderson, August, 1084. 

Andenson, August L., 1087. 

Anderson, Axel, 609. 

Anderson, Brother, John, 258. 

Anderson, Carl Ludvig, 794. 

Anderson, Charles August, 778. 

Anderson, Elias L., 772. 

Anderson, Emil, 861. 

Anderson, Emil L.,"664. 

Anderson, Frank Oscar, 1120. 



Anderson, Gustaf R., 886. 

Anderson, John, 692. 

Anderson, John A., 493. 

Anderson, John Alfred, 420. 

Anderson, John D., 982. 

Anderson, John O., 1112. 

Anderson, John P., 1052. 

Anderson, Ludwig Wolmer, 1098. 

Anderson, Olof, 1058. 

Anderson, Otto, 392. 

Anderson, Otto Emil, 808. 

Anderson, Oscar, 1028. 

Anderson, Peter, 642. 

Anderson, Severin, 1057. 

Anderson, Swan, 525. 

Anderson, Swan August, 1050. 

Anderson, William A., 1012. 

Andree, Hjalmar Alexis, 992. 

Andreen, Alexis, 402. 

Andrell, Gust, 608. 

Andrews, Charles, 389. 

Anjou, Eev. T., 225. 

Anquist, August J., 570. 

Artig, John, 386. 

Arpi Club, 112. 

Augustana Church, Minneapoli.s, 162. 

Augustana Church, St. Paul, 161. 

Asklund, Oscar, 1101. 

Asplund, Andrew William, 1102. 

Asplund, Swen, 1078. 

Auslund, Eev. J., 142. 

Backdahl, A. & Companv, 519. 

Backdahl, Alfred, 519. 

Backdahl, Carl, 519. 

Balder Chorus (Stillwater), 11. "5. 

Baneret, 312. 

Beckman, Carl August, 736. 

Beekman, Rev. P., 152. 

Beckmark, Charles E., 484. 

Benevolent Institutions of Minnesota 

Conference, 180. 
Benson, James, 418. 
Benson, Nils P., 713. 
Benson, Ole, 1045. 
Berg, Albert, 1145. 
Berg, August, 628. 
Berg, Claes Otto, 482. 
Berg, Gust, 971. 



IX 



INDEX 



Berggren, O. P., 225, 903. 

Berglund, Andrew, 758. 

Berglund, Carl E., 421. 

Bergstedt Brothers, 871. 

Bergstedt, Edward, 871. 

Bergstedt, Victor, 871. 

Bergstrom, Alfred M., 917. 

Bergstrom, Charles, 955. 

Bergstrom, Frank Ephraim, 799. 

Bergquist, Carl J., 1085. 

Bergquist, Charles Frederick, 1064. 

Bergquist, Charles J., 917. 

Bergquist, Emma, 1064. 

Bergquist, J. Victor, 1069. 

Bergquist, Theodore Ferdinand, 1071. 

Best Wheat Producing Land in State, 355. 

Bethania Church, Duluth, 165. 

Bethel Academy, 263. 

Bethlehem Church, Minneapolis, 162. 

Bethesda Church, South St. Paul, 160. 

Bethesda Deaconess Home, 180. 

Bethesda Hospital, 180. 

Bethesda Old People 's Home, 182. 

Big Stone District Swedish Lutheran 

Church, 176. 
Big Stone District Swedish Lutheran 
Congregations, Sacred Heart, Monte- 
video, Clinton, Ortonville, Odessa, 
Barry (Grant County), Swedlanda, 
Fridsborg, Olivia (Eenville County), 
Hector, Preston Lake, Wheaton, and 
Immanuel (Traverse County), 176- 
177. 

Bishop Gilbert Haven, 211. 

Bjork, Eev. C. A., 227. 

Bjorklund, Axel Wilhelm, 518. 

Bjorkman, John, 634. 

Bjorkquist, Edward L., 1098. 

BUxt, Gustaf A., 790. 

Blomgren, Edward P., 698. 

Blomgren, Eev. A., 259. 

Bloom, Carl Joseph, 1099. 

Bodin, John, 892. 

Bodien, Eev. Olof, 264. 

Bolander, Carl, 1114. 

Boman, Carl Bernhard Leonard, 1071. 

Booren, August, 416. 

Boren, Eev. J. P. C, 142. 

Borgstrom, Nils Magnus, 959. 

Borgstrom, Peter J., 1013. 

Borup, Albert, 660. 

Borup, Elsie Hortense, 660. 

Bowman, Eev. C. V., 242. 

Bredenberg, Karl Samuel, 1044. 

Brodeen, Oscar N., 420. 

Brostrora, Axel E., 782. 

Bruce, Frank P., 756. 

Bruce, Olof Ludwig, 675. 

Burg, Oscar, 826. 



Burkland, John L., 1091. 

Burnquist, Joseph Alfred Arner, 981. 



Calander, John, 895. 

Cannon Falls, 445. 

Carlson, Aaron, 744. 

Carlson, Albert F., 394. 

Carlson, Anders August Melcher, 553. 

Carlson, Andrew John, 865. 

Carlson, Carl Magnus Emil, 604. 

Carlson, Charles J., 796. 

Carlson, Charles J., 945. 

Carlson, Fred C, 463. 

Carlson, John, 950. 

Carlson, John A., 1127. 

Carlson, John H., 473. 

Carlson, John Magnus, 908. 

Carl-son, Jonas, 795. 

Carlson, Oscar H., 834. 

Carlson, Peter M., 1014. 

Carlson, Eev. P., 144. 

Carlson, Swan A., 401. 

Carlson, Theodore, 755. 

Carlson, Victor, 676. 

Carver County, 487. 

Cavallin, Eev. J. O., 153. 

Cedarstrand, August, 585. 

Cederberg, Johan Oscar, 999. 

Cederstam, Eev. P. A., 143. 

Cederstrom, Carl Johan, 632. 

Center City, 369. 

Central West District of Minnesota, 
Swedish Lutheran Church, 172. 

Character and Customs, Indian, 134. 

Cheleen, Sigfrid J., 670. 

Chilstrom, John, 1088. 

Chicago City, 380. 

Chisago County, 367. 

Chisago Lake, 367. 

City of Duluth, 1002. 

City of Minneaimlis, 495. 

Cokato District Swedish Lutheran Church, 
175. 

Cokato District Swedish Lutheran Con- 
gregations, Gotaholm (Watertown), 
Lyndale, Gotalund (Maple Plain), 
Carlslund (Buffalo), Swedesburg 
(Waverly), Moores Prairie, Cokato, 
North Crow Eiver, French Lake, 
Dassel, Swan Lake (Meeker County), 
Nylunda (Wright County), Herman 
(Granite Lake), and St. John's (An- 
nandale), 175-176. 
Collander, Borge, 872. 
Conference, The, 138. 
Conference Anniversaries, 140. 
Conference Church Property Valued 
$2,000,000, 141. 



INDEX 



Conference Divided into Eighteen Mis- 
sion Districts, 141. 
Conference, Pioneer Ministers of, 142. 

Dahl, Carl Emil, 936. 

Dahl, Edward G., 613. 

Dahl, John Albin, 709. 

Dahl, J. Hans, 757. 

Dahlgren, Anton, 523. 

Dahlhjelm, A. M., 371. 

Dahlin Brothers, 554. 

Dahlin, Archie Albert, 554. 

Dahlin, Oscar C, 554. 

Dahlquist, Andrew, 879. 

Dahlstrom, Carl John, 1109. 

Dalberg, J. C, 1111. 

Daniels, Eev. John J., 242. 

Danielson, Alfred, 1059. 

Danielson, Charles, 468. 

Davis, Eev. Aug., Friction Divides Church, 
236. 

Dividing Forces of Swedish Mission 
Friends, 238. 

Division Among ' ' The Free, ' ' 236. 

Division Weakens Mission Friends Move- 
ment, 238. 

Duluth, First Swedish Lutheran Church 
of, 165. 

Duluth Territory Swedish Lutheran Con- 
gregations, Duluth, West Duluth, 
Two Harbors, Mesaba Eauge (Vir- 
ginia, Biwabik, Hibbing, Eveleth, 
Chisholm, Feeley, Grand Eapids, 
Carlton, Atkinson, Mahtowa), Clo- 
quet. Moose Lake (Blomskog, Swede 
Park, Barnum), Vermillion Eange 
(Tower, Soudan, Ely), Sandstone, 
Dell Grove, and Kerrick, 164-167. 

Earl, Milton G., 694. 

Earl, Dr. Eobert O., 862; Founder of 

Mound.s Park Sanitarium, 264. ' 
Ebenezer Church, Minneapolis, 164. 
Eberhart, Hon. Adolph 0., 96. 
Eberhart, Axel A., 622. 
Edlund, Axel, 590. 
Edman, John, 558. 
Ek, Christian, 955. 
Ekberg, David, 783. 
Ekelund, Axel Christopher, 688. 
Ekelund, Charles August, 719. 
Ekholm, F. Victor, 926. 
Eklund, J. J., 1017. 
Eklund, Nels Person, 648. 
Ekman, Alfred, 686. 
Ekman, August, 769. 
Ekman, Carl, 768. 
Ekman, Knut, 770. 
Ekstrum, John D., 705. 



Elim Church, West Duluth, 166. 
Elmer, Alfred J., 1133. 
Elmquist Brothers, 930. 
Elmquist, Charles L., 930. 
Elmquist, David, 1097. 
Elmquist, Gustfred S., 931. 
Emmanuel Church, Minneapolis, 164. 
Emmanuel Church, St. Paul, 160. 
Engberg, Hans, 1117. 
Engberg, John, 1075. 
Engman, Martin, 702. 
Engstrom, Carl Victor Sigfrid, 1044. 
Enquist, Charles A., 931. 
Erickson, Aron, 944. 
Erickson, Carl A., 1046. 
Erickson, Carl Otto, 875. 
Erickson, Charles A., 458. 
Erickson, E. Hugo, 823. 
Erickson, John W., 731. 
Erickson, Nels, 802. 
Erickson, Olof Peter, 1129. 
Erickson, Peter, 597. 
Erickson, Peter A., 1038. 
Erickson, Peter O., 1107. 
Erickson, William E., 1043. 
Erickson, Charles W., 1021. 
Ericson, William M., 464. 
Ericsson, John E., 1006. 
Erman, Nora A., 571. 
"Evangelii Basun," 249. 

Fahlstrom, Jacob, 129. 

Farm, Carl Oscar, 1121. 

Perm, Frithiof, 653. 

First and Second Original Ladies' Quar- 
tets from Sweden, 107. 

First Church Building, St. Paul, 160. 

First Church of Mission Friends Organ- 
ized 1870, 227. 

First English Lutheran Church, St. 
Peter, 171. 

First Methodist Episcopal Church, Min- 
neapolis, 220. 

First Mission Friends in U. S. in 1886, 
222. 

First Eeligious Service in Goodhue Set- 
tlement, 435. 

First Swedish Baptist Church, 266. 

First Swedish Lutheran Church of Du- 
luth, 165. 

First Swedish Methodist Camp Meeting, 
203. 

First Swedish Methodist Episcopal 
Church, Duluth, 202. 

First Swedish Methodist Episcopal 
Church, St. Paul, 216. 

First Swedish Settlement in Goodhue 

County, 424. 
Fjellman, Charles, 783. 



INDEX 



Fogelstrom, Peter Gustof, 1049. 
Fortieth Anniversary of Conference 

(1898), 140. 
Founding of New Sweden, 40. 
Franconia, 382. 
Franson, Rev. F., 230. 
Frederikson, A. Henning, 586. 
Fredrikson, Henry, 1102. 
Frykman, Rev. Nels, 242. 

Gayner, Louis N., 671. 

Gethsemane Church, Hopkins, 164. 

Gjertsen, Henry John, 516. 

Glance at the History of Sweden, A, 19. 

"Gloria Dei" English Lutheran 

Church, 162. 
Golden Jubilee of Conference (1908), 
140. 

Goldner, John E., 627. 

Goodhue County, 424. 

Goodhue County, Dr. Erik Norelius m, 
448. 

Goodhue District Swedish Lutheran Con- 
gregations, Vasa, Red Wing, Can- 
non River, Welch, Prairie Island, 
Spring Garden, Cannon Falls, Lake 
City, Christdale (Rice County), 
Hoflanda (Mower County), and 
Zion (Goodhue), 167-169. 

Goodhue Mission District Churches in 
Wisconsin, Stockholm, Little Plum, 
Hager City, Bay City and Eau 
Claire, 169." 

Goodhue, Zion Lutheran Church, 169. 

Goodwin, Godfrey G., 1074. 

Gotaholm, 488. 

Gouldberg, H. J., 1073. 

Grace English Lutheran Church, Min- 
neapolis, 164. 

Grant, Adolph Fredrik, 577. 

Grape, Helmer, 1006. 

Grinndal, Hans Gude, 526. 

Grunlund, John, 1087. 

Gummesson, Gurli, 539. 

Gunnar Wennerberg Memorial Chorus, 
111. 

Gustaf Adolf Singing Society, 112. 

Gustafson, Alfred, 834. 

Gustafson, Frank A., 685. 

Gustafson, Frank L., 879. 

Gustafson, Oscar Gustaf Julius, 553. 

Gustafson, Peter Johan, 395. 

Gustavus Adolphus Church, St. Paul, 
160. 

Gustavus Adolphus College, 272. 

Hagberg, August, 1022. 
Hagelin, Eric, 10.34. 



Hall, Otto, 929. 

Hallenberg, Carl A., 891. 

Haller, Axel, 485. 

Hallin, Gustaf Adolf, 796. 

Hallmer, Nels, 697. 

Hallquist, August, 1048. 

Hallquist, Leonard Edwin, 736. 

Hammarstrand, Aksel Leonard, 801. 

Hammarstrand, Anders Thorsten, 806. 

Hanson, Hans A., 547. 

Harmoni Chorus, 114. 

Harmonia Glee Club, 116. 

Haven, Bishop Gilbert, 211. 

Hawkinson, Martin 0., 669. 

Hedberg, Gustaf, 896. 

Hedberg, John A., 1032. 

Hedengran, Rev. C. A., 142. 

Hedin, Olof Axel, 615. 

Hernlund, Joseph C, 729. 

History of Sweden, A Glance at, 19. 

Hoglund, John O., 584. 

Holcomb, Frans August, 967. 

Holeomb, Oscar William, 966. 

Holm, Andrew, 865. 

Holm, Andrew John, 419. 

Holm, Elof P., 956. 

Holm, Olof, 982. 

Holm, Peter A., 748. 

Holmen, Carl Robert, 767. 

Holmes, Emil J., 467. 

Holmgren, Andrew August, 640. 

Holmstrom, Magnus, 1091. 

Holt, John E., 946. 

Hopkins, Gethsemane Church, 164. 

Hord, Nils Herman, 735. 

Hough, C. E. L, 968. 

Hullman, Hugo, 108. 

Hult, Andrew, 403. 

Hult, Rev. A., 153. 

Hultkrans, Carl August, 193. 

Hultkrans, John G., 835. 

Hultquist, Frederick A., 631. 

Hultquist, Gustaf, 372. 

Impressions that Congregationalists 
Were American Mission Friends, 
237. 

Indian Character and Customs, 134. 

Indians, 122. 

Influence of the Swedes upon Growth 
of State, 101. 

Iverson, G. I., 510. 

Jackson, Rev. Andrew, 143. 
Jackson, John W., 411. 
Jacobson, C. A., 1146. 
Jacobson, Edward, 613. 
Jacobson, Joseph O., 644, 



INDEX 



Jacobson, Oscar Severin, 1040. 
Johnson, AdoJph, 761. 
Johnson, Alfred, 474. 
Johnson, Andrew G., 902. 
Johnson, Hon. Andrew G., 305, 724. 
Johnson, Andrew P., 723. 
Johnson, Anton W., 914. 
Johnson, August Elof, lOSO. 
Johnson, August G., 675. 
Johnson Brothers, 866. 
Johnson, Charles, 866. 
Johnson, Charles A., 400. 
Johnson, Charles C, 530. 
Johnson, Charles J., 557. 
Johnson, Ebert, 1121. 
Johnson, Edward, 512. 
Johnson, Frank, 859. 
Johnson, Gustaf Alfred, 935. 
Johnson, Gustavus, 543. 
Johnson, Hans G., 887. 
Johnson, Hans Martin, 920. 
Johnson, Henry, 866. 
Johnson, J. A., 410. 
Johnson, John, 802. 
Johnson, Gov. John Albert, 89. 
Johnson, John E., 762. 
Johnson, John L., 1113. 
Johnson, John N., 509. 
Johnson, Joseph, 591. 
Johnson, Julius, 639. 
Johnson, Nimrod A., 562. 
•Johnson, Oscar E., 924. 
Johnson, Oscar William, 956. 
Johnson, Ot1,o F., 1040. 
Johnson, Peter, 1014. 
Johnson, Samuel Edv/in, 847. 
Johnson, Swan, 1047. 
Johnson, Swan Gustaf, 607. 
Johnson, Victor Ludwig, 396. 

Kempe, Peter A. H., 470. 
Klarquist, Swan M., 771. 
Kling, Frithiof Lawrence, 1119. 
King Oscar Settlement, 487. 
Kullberg, Gustaf A., 691. 

Ladies' Quartets, First and Second 
Original, from Sweden, 107. 

Larger Development of Mission Friends, 
1877, 230. 

Largerquist, Gustaf, 529. 

Lagerstrom, Jonas Gotthold, 849. 

Land Claims, 122. 

Land Claims, Pioneers, and Indians, 122. 

Larson, Adolph S., 1100. 

Larson, August A., 1026. 

Larson, Charles E., 951. 

Larson, Herman, 672. 

Larson, John August, 788. 



Larson, Lewis E., 535. 

Larson, Louis J., 937. 

Larson, Oliver, 106. 

Larson, Oscar Erik, 575. 

Lawson, Victor Emanuel, 1141. 

Leading Citizens, 1028. 

Lilliencrantz, Herman Godtfried, 698. 

Lilygreen, Frank G., 899. 

Lind, Alfred, 636. 

Lind, Carl Johnson, 562. 

Lind, Erland, 589. 

Lind, John, 978. 

Lind, John, 72. 

Lindahl, Alexander, 882. 

Lindahl, Axel .Julius Gabriel Maria, 666. 

Lindahl, Charles, 387. 

Lindblom, Carl Johan Emil, 524. 

Liudberg, Arvid William, 868. 

Linden, Arvid Idoflf, 806. 

Lindgren, Andrew, 482. 

Lindgren, Byron A., 693. 

Lindgren, Carl A., 642. 

Lindgren, Eric A., 1012. 

Lindholm, Sven August, 1072. 

Lindstrom, Andrew L., 789. 

Lindstrom, John W., 816. 

Lindstrom Village, 379. 

Linner, David, 412. 

Linner, Frank W., 412. 

Linquist, Charles O., 423. 

Lindquist, Oscar E., 1038. 

Lofgreu, Nels P., 626. 

Lofgren, Otto S., 598. 

Lofroth, Carl Wilhelm, 1022. 

Lofstrom, Andrew E., 1074. 

Log Cabin, Usual Shelter, 124. 

Lonegren, Oscar, 1020. 

Lootz, Philip M., 753. 

Lund, C. A., 1089. 

Lund, Harry Albert, 703. 

Lund Student Chorus, 109. 

Lundahl, Gust, 706. 

Luudberg, Justus Magnus, 972. 

Lundblad, Rev. J. P., 142. 

Lundholm, Erik Mauritz, 975. 

Lundquist, Albin Gustaf, 730. 

Lundquist, August, 1110. 

Lundquist, Emil, 665. 

Lundquist, Emil J., 718. 

Lundquist, Seth, 592. 

Lutheran Church, Swedish, 137. 

Lyric, The, 112. 

Magnuson, Eev. C. J., 227. 
Magnusson, G. Alfred, 1130. 
Magny, Eev. J., 153. 
Matm, Per Victor, 1039. 
Malmquist, Gustaf, 603. 



XIV 



INDEX 



Mandeen, Anders, 825. 

Marine Settlement, The, 405. 

Mattson, Anders, 1118. 

Mattson, Hans, 80. 

Mattson, Oscar Alexander, 541. 

Mattson, Peter, 925. 

Mattson, Peter A., 1061. 

Melin, Alfred, 391. 

Merriam Park Lutheran Congregation, 
161. 

Messiah English Lutheran Church, Min- 
neapolis, 164. 

Methodist Procession to Raise Twen- 
tieth Century Thank Offering, 219. 

Minneapolis, Augustana Church, 162; 
Bethlehem Church, 162; Ebenezer 
Church, 164; Emmanuel Church, 
162; Grace English Lutheran 
Church, 164; Messiah English Lu- 
theran Church, 164; Salem Church, 
164; St. Paiili Church, 164; Zion 
Church, 164. 

Minneapolis, Swedish Hospital, 194. 

Minneapolis, Swedish Lutheran Church, 
in, 162. 

Minnehaha Academy Association, 233 

Minnesota as a State, 69. 

Minnesota College, 289. 

Minnesota Conference, Branch of 
Northern Illinois Synod, 138. 

Minnesota Stats Tidning, 307. 

Minnesota Swedes in the Civil War, 
317. 

Minnesota Valley District, Swedish Lu- 
theran Church, 171. 

Minnesota Valley District Swedish Lu- 
theran Congregations, East Svea- 
dahl, St. James, Kansas Lake, Dun- 
nell. Triumph, Walnut Grove, 
Tracy, West Sveadahl, Little Cot- 
tonwood, Sillerud (Murray county), 
Balaton, Lakefield,- East Chain, 
Wadstena, Lime Lake, Bethania 
(Murray County), Worthington and 
Dundee, 171-172. 

Mission Cottage of Augustana Congre- 
gation, Minneapolis, 161. 

Mission Friends' Association of North- 
ern Bed River Valley, 238. 

Mission Friends Organized at Minne- 
apolis, 228. 

Mission Friends Organized at St. Paul, 
228. 

Mission Friends Statistics, 238. 

Mississippi District Swedish Lutheran 
Church, 177. 

Mississippi District, Swedish Lutheran 
Congregations, Brainerd, St. Clair, 



Salem (Milo), Zion (Milaca), 
Maria, Bethlehem, St. Pauli, Deer- 
wood (Aitkin County), Little Falls, 
Bock, Upsala, Anoka, Ham Lake, 
Silver Creek, Big Lake, Monticello, 
Hastings, Zimmerman, Princeton, 
and Saron, 177-178. 

Monson, John, 566. 

Monson, Peter, 649. 

Montgomery, Rev. T. W., 236. 

Moody, Frank Emil, 843. 

Mork, Charles, 1010. 

Mostrom, Rev. P. F., 242. 

Mounds Park Sanitarium, 262. 

Musiktidning for Amerikas Svenskar, 
120. 

Mutual Church Insurance Society, 215. 

Nelson, Andrew, 1018. 
Nelson, Rev. C. G., 200. ' 
Nelson, Charles J., 952. 
Nelson, Prof. Frank, 293. 
Nelson, Frank A., 1135. 
Nelson, Fredrik M., 814. 
Nelson, F. 0., 252, 257. 
Nelson, James, 596. 
Nelson, John A., 805. 
Nelson, John Henrv, 1075. 
Nelson, John N., 1107. 
Nelson, Rev. John S., 143. 
Nelson, Lewis S., 621. 
Nelson, Louis, 1137. 
Nelson, Nels, 619. 
Nelson, Nels C, 976. 
Nelson, Nels G., 597. 
Nelson, Nels J., 548. 
Nelson, Nels M., 1110. 
Nelson, Nels 0., 1096. 
Nelson, Nels P., 647. 
Nelson, Nels Peter, 542. 
Nelson, Oscar, 664. 
Nelson, Oscar Julius, 1080. 
Nelson, Otto A., 800. 
Nelson, Peter, 530. 
Nelson, Peter Gatthard, 1122. 
Nelson, S. J., 944. 
Nelson, Theodore, 976. 
New Arpi Glee Club, The, 112. 
New Sweden, Founding of, 40. 
Nicholson, Elmer, 714. 
Nilson, Nils, 583. 
Nilson, Nils, 1137. 
Nilsson, Axel Hjalmar, 682. 
Nilsson, Christine, Tour of, 107. 
Nilsson, J. August, 987. 
Nilsson, Verner Hjalmar, 616. 
Nilsson, Victor, 116. 
Noble, Frithiof R., 506. 



INDEX 



XV 



Norberg, Erik U., 367. 

Nordberg, Ola Anders, 713. 

Nordgren, Carl J., 960. 

Nordin, John Algot, 598. 

Nordstrom, Edwin, 1144. 

Norelius Brothers, 1077. 

Norelius, Albert, 1077. 

Norelius, Edward, 1077. 

Norelius, Eev. Dr. Erik, 147; in Good- 
hue County, 448; Organized Lu- 
theran Church in Goodhue County, 
436; Career in Journalism and Lit- 
erature, 151; Mentioned in Col. H, 
Mattson's Book, "Minnen," 152. 

Norlander, Fred C, 901. 

Norman, John S., 626. 

Norman, Oscar Edward, 556. 

North Park College, Chicago, 232. 

Northwestern College, 294. 

Northwestern College, Minneapolis, 233. 

Northwestern Hospital, Moorhead, 1095. 

North Star College, 296. 

North-Western Swedish Conference, 
Methodist Episcopal Church, 213. 

North-Western Swedish Conference, Di- 
vided Into Three Conferences, 217. 

Nyberg, Charles E., 860. 

Nyquist, Jacob Eric, 1120. 

Nystrom, Axel, 880. 

Nystrom, Erik J., 1060. 

Nystrom, Ole, 1035. 

Nyvall, Prof. D., 231. 

Nyvall, Johannes Alfred, 1092. 

Oberg, Carl Magnus, 602. 

Oberg, C. H. E., 107. 

Ogren, John, 415. 

Ohrstrom-Renard, Mrs. Lydia, in Du- 

luth, 114. 
Okerson, Ola, 258. 
Oldest Mission Friends' Church in 

State, 228. 
Olson, Alvin Ernest, 1135. 
Olson, Andrew, 833. 
Olson, August, 1063. 
Olson, Carl G., 694. 
Olson, Charles, 565. 
Olson, Charles A., 701. 
Olson, Emil W., 1084. 
Olson, Gustaf C, 1078. 
Olson, Gustaf Wilhelm, 810. 
Olson, John Gustaf, 965. 
Olson, John W., 621. 
Olson, Joseph, 1033. 
Olson, Louis Harold, 919. 
Olson, Olaf J., 924. 
Olund, Mrs. Inga, 113; in Duluth, 114. 
One-post Bedstead, A, 125. 



Ongman, Rev. John, Missionary in Min- 
nesota, 259. 

Oredson, Olef A., 1019. 

Orphans' Home at Vasa, Main Build- 
ing, 148. 

Orpheus and Unga Svea Unite, 110. 

Orpheus Chorus, 114. 

Orpheus Dramatic Club, 108. 

Orpheus Singing Society, 107. 

Ortquist, Andrew P., 641. 

Osborn, Joseph E., 581. 

Oslund, Olof E., 1106. 

Osterberg, Joel Alfred, 1015. 

Osterberg, John S., 111. 

Ostergren, K. A., 1009. 

Our Forefathers, 1. 

Palm, .Julius, 1118. 
Palmberg, Carl Oscar, 1090. 
Par Bricole, 114. 
Paulson, Peter, 784. 
Pearson, Nels, 949. 
Pearson, Nels M., 763. 
Pearson, Nils Anton, 569. 
Pearson, Otto, 888. 
Pehrson, Rev. John, 142. 
Perlow, John M., 968. 
Person, Oscar, 549. 
Peters, Oscar Fred, 473. 
Peterson, Adolph, 555. 
Peterson, Alfred C, 1034. 
Peterson, Andrew, 1083. 
Peterson, Arvid, 743. 
Peterson, Carl E., 421. 
Peterson, Charles, 1047. 
Peterson, Charles, 726. 
Peterson, Charles A., 777. 
Peterson, Charles C, 414. 
Peterson, Glaus Otto, 775. 
Peterson, Emil, 907. 
Peterson, Erick Elmer, 544. 
Peterson, Dr. Frank, 261. 
Peterson, Frank W., 829. 
Peterson, Fred, 744. 
Peterson, George E., 1112. 
Peterson, Gust, 875. 
Peterson, Johannes Otto, 776. 
Peterson, John, 894. 
Peterson, Rev. John, 227. 
Peterson, Brother John A., 258. 
Peterson, J. H., 1136. 
Peterson, John Henry, 1031. 
Peterson, Louis, 900. 
Peterson, Nels P., 1112. 
Peterson, Otto, 943. 
Peterson, P. A., 462. 
Peterson, Swan J., 720. 
Peterson, Victor Nathaniel, 913. 



XVI 



INDEX 



Pioneer Baptist Preachers, 256. 
Pioneer Ministers of Conference, 112. 
Pioneer Mission Friends Preacliers, in 

Minnesota, 225. 
Pioneers, 122. 
Ponth, Frank, 115. 
Prairie Blizzard, The, 128. 

Queber, Arvie, 732. 
Quist, Henry W., 838. 
Quist, John P., 1086. 
Quist, Peter P., 576. 

Eanseen, J. C, 1055. 

Red River Valley District Swedish Lu- 
theran Church, 178. 

Red River Valley District Swedish Lu- 
theran Congregations, Eksjo, Rich- 
wood (Becker county), Bethesda 
(Moorhead), Highland Grove, 
"Treenighets" (Upsala), Corn- 
stock, Fertile, Wilburton, Warren, 
Vega, Fridhem (Hallock), Red 
River, Saron, Sikar, Tabitha, St. 
Hilaire, Black River, Clara, Hazel, 
Englund, Strandquist, New Folden 
(Marshall County), Kennedy, East 
Grand Forks, Nyskoga, Grand 
Forks (North Dakota), Fosston, 
Mcintosh, and Oak Park, 178-179. 

Red Wing, 447. 

Regner, John A., 524. 

Remarkable Camp Meeting, A, 207. 

Rodberg, Rev. J. P., 226. 

Rodine, Edwin, 687. 

Rodman, John, 225. 

Rolf, John S., 1052. 

Rollin, Clans A., 793. 

Roman, Victor, 663. 

Ronbeck, Harry, 750. 

Roos, Gustave Ivar, 709. 

Roos, Oscar, 368. 

Rosen, Adolph Theodore, 994. 

Rosing, August George, 483. 

Rudberg, Frederick, 1126. 

Rudeen, Carl J., 988. 

Rundquist, Vilhelm, 807. 

Rydberg, Fritz, 742. 

Rylander, Emanuel, 1144. 

Rydell, Andrew Theodore, 589. 

Rydell, Gustaf Emil, 659. 

Salem Church, Minneapolis, 164. 
Salem Mission Church (Kandivohi Coun- 
ty), 227. 
Sandberg, Andrew, 681. 
Sandberg, A. E., 724. 
Sandberg, Andrew S., 580. 



Sandberg, August Alfred, 741. 
Sandberg, Wille, 400. 
Sandell, John, 919. 
Sandell, Nels, 886. 
Sandcn, Ernest H., 1108. 
Sandquist, Magnus Wilhelm, 1056. 
Sanngren, Rev. J. M., 227. 
Scandinavian Christian Mission Society 

of the United States, 236. 
Scandinavian Methodist District Di- 
vided, 211. 
Scandinavian Music Corps, 106. 
Scandinavian Singing Society, 106. 
Scandia, 489. 

Scandia Church, 1851, 253. 
Scandia (Singing Society), 106. 
Scandian Grove, 490. 
Schulz, Carl G.. 871. 
Seaquist, 01of,'885. 
Seashore, David E., 1011. 
Seashore, Gilbert, 515. 
Seven Swedish Evangelical Churches in 

St. Paul, 159. 
Shafer, 381. 
Silvander, Nels, 225. 
Sioux War of 1862, 340. 
Siren, Harold, 1109. 
Sjoberg, Andrew, 398. 
Sjoberg, Edwin, 951. 
S'joblom, Rev. P., 144. 
Sjoqvist, Rev. J. G., 226; Pastor Forty 

Years Among Mission Friends of 

Minnesota, 226. 
Skogluud, Clarence L., 483. 
Skogsbergh, Rev. Erik August, 231, 246. 
Skoog, A. L., 710. 
Skooglun, Charles, 971. 
Skooglun, David, 930. 
Slotten, Andrew, 106. 
Smith, Charles Axel, 753. 
Smith, Nils J., 390. 
Social Club Established bv Orpheus in 

1894, 108. 
Sodergren, K. Arvid, 1037. 
Soderling, August, 565. 
Soderstrom, Alfred, 677. 
Sohlberg, Olof, 911. 
Southerland, A. Hans, 1076. 
Southern Minnesota District Swedish 

Lutheran Church, 167. 
South St. Paul, Bethesda Church, 160. 
Spongberg, Ernest, 851. 
Spring Garden, 442. 
"Squatter Sovereignty," 124. 
State's Growth, Influence of Swedes 

Upon, 101. 
St. Croix Valley, Swedish Lutheran 

Church in, 153. 



INDEX 



xvu 



St. Croix Valley, Swedish Lutheran 
Congregations, Center City, Tay- 
lor 's Falls, Chisago City, Almelund, 
New Scandia, Marine Mills, Still- 
water, Forest Lake, Fish Lake, 
Eush Lake, Spring Lake, Dalbo, 
Athens, Bradford, Eush City, 
Hinckley, North Branch, Harris, 
Braham, Mora, Brunswick, Pine 
Grove, Eock Creek, and Stacy, 153- 
159. 
Stenberg, John, 1129. 
Stenborg, John N., 1128. 
Stenholm, Carl A., 399. 
Sterner, Ernest G., 875. 
Sterner, Otto W., 1130. 
Stillwater, 409. 

Stillwater, Balder Chorus, 115. 
Stone, Eev. Emanuel 0., 197. 
St. Paul, Augustana Church, 161; Em- 
manuel Church, 160; First Swed- 
ish Lutheran Church, 160; Gustavus 
Adolphus Church, 160. 
St. Paul, Swedish Lutheran Church, in, 

159. 
St. Pauli Church, Minneapolis, 164. 
St. Peter District Swedish Lutheran 

Church, 169. 
St. Peter District Swedish Lutheran 
Congregations, St. Peter, Scandian 
Grove, East Union (Carver County), 
West Union, Vista (Waseca Coun- 
tv). Mansfield, Waseca Village, Ber- 
nadotte (Nicollet County), Bel- 
grade, Mankato, Clear Lake, Gib- 
bon (Sibley County), Swede Home, 
Fridhem (Yellow Medicine Coun- 
ty), Clarkfield, Winthrop, Provi- 
dence Valley and Lafayette, 169- 
17L 
Strom, Henry, 1134. 
Students' Loan Fund, 214. 
Sundberg, Axel T., 867. 
Sundberg, Peter, 1079. 
Sundberg, Eev. S. W., 242. 
Sundberg, Victor C, 912. 
Sundkvist, Erik, 940. 
Sunwall, Gustaf Ferdinand, 841. 
"Svea Band," 108. 
Svea Glee Club, 114. 
Svea Male Chorus, 111. 
Svea Military Band, 113. 
Svea Singing Club, 115. 
Svenska Amerikanska Posten, 302. 
Svenska Folkets Tidning, '304. 
Svenska Kristna Harolden, 232. 
Svithiod, 446. 
Swanson, Abel, 908. 



Swanson, Andrew, 477. 
Swanson, August, 1125. 
Swanson, August S., 985. 
Swanson, Charles W., 876. 
Swanson, Edward, 583. 
Swanson, Ernest, 685. 
Swanson, Frans Victor, 737. 
Swanson, Gothfred S., 1048. 
Swanson, John F., 480. 
Swanson, John J. F., 384. 
Swanson, Nels, 688. 
Swanson, Ole, 1114. 
Swanson, Oscar C, 628. 
Swanson, Swan A., 1050. 
Swedback, Erick Johan, 614. 
Swede, First Who Ever Saw Minne- 
sota, 129. 
Swedes of Minnesota in Educational 

Affairs, 271. 
Swedes of St. Paul, 854. 
Swedish American Episcopal Church, 

267. 
Swedish American Press, 299. 
Swedish Baptist Conference Organized 

at Scandia, 252. 
Swedish Baptists, 251. 
Swedish Characteristics, 66. 
Swedish Christian Mission Association 

of the Northwest, 233-234. 
Swedish Congregationalists Statistics, 

239. 
Swedish Department Chicago Theolog- 
ical Seminary, 236. 
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Ansgarii 

Synod. 234. 
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Mission 

Synod, 233. 
Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant, 

234. 
Swedish Free Church of America, 236. 
Swedish Glee Club (Duluth), 114. 
Swedish Hospital, Minneapolis, 194. 
Swedish Impress on American Cul- 
ture, 62. 
Swedish Lutheran Church, 137; Alexan- 
dria District, 172; Big Stone Dis- 
trict, 176; Central West Discrict, 
of Minnesota, 172; Goodhue Dis- 
trict, 167; In Minneapolis, 162; 
Minnesota Valley District, 171; 
Mississippi District, 177; Eed Eiver 
Valley District, 178; Southern Min- 
nesota District, 167; In St. Paul, 
159; Wilmar District, 174; In Can- 
ada, 180; In North Dakota, 180; 
In South Dakota, 180. 
Swedish Methodist Episcopal Church, 
Clear Lake, 204. 



XVIU 



INDEX 



Swedish Methodism in Minnesota, 201 

Swedish Mission Church, Minneapolis 
235; North Minneapolis, 240; Tri 
umph, 229. 

Swedish Mission Friends, 221. 

Swedish Musical Life in Minnesota, 106 

Swedish Quartet Club, 112. 

Swedish Sangerfest in Jamestown, 110 

Swedish Settlement at Vista (Waseca 
County), 492. 

Swedish Tabernacle (Minneapolis), 249; 
Largest Swedish Church in Amer- 
ica, 232. 

Swedish Tabernacle, St. Paul, 2'37. 

Swedish Y. M. C. A. Chorus, 109. 

Swensen, Harry S., 658. 

Swensen, Peter Philmore, 655. 

Swenson, Carl August, 787. 

Swenson, Emil August, 1021. 

Swenson, Henry Augustus, 397. 

Swenson, John August, 938. 

Swenson, Olof, 965. 

Swensson, Anders, 370. 

Territory, Statistics and Subdivisions, 
140. 

Thaung, J. G., 923. 

"The Free," 236. 

Theological School, Evanston, Illinois, 
217. 

Thompson, Peter, 1105. 

Thompson, Peter, 619. 

Thoorsell, John, 904. 

Thorene, Hugo, 1045. 

Thurnell, John Edward, 842. 

Toffteen, Dr., Olof A., 268. 

Tour of Christine Nilsson, in 1884, 107 

Turnblad, Swan J., 679. 

Turnbladh, Nels P., 1025. 

Twenty-fifth Anniversary of Confer- 
ence (1883), 140. 

Two Swedish Vocal Teachers of Note m 
Duluth, 114. 

Undeen, Rev. P., 226. 
Unga Svea, 109. 

United Scandanavian Singers of Amer- 
ica, 107. 



Valline, Olof, 881. 

Value of Conference Church Property, 

141. 
Vasa Club, 112. 
Veckobladet, 232, 314. 
Vega Quartet, 114. 
Vega Singing Society, 114. 
Veline, Olof Julius, 781. 



Vitalis, Charles J., 382. 
von Krusenstjerna, Herman Mauritz, 
578. 

Wadensten, Oscar Edward, 601. 

Wahlund, Eev. Gustaf, 188. 

Waldenstrom, Dr., Eeconciliation, 228; 
New Position, 228. 

Wallentin, August, 962. 

Wallerstedt, Carl Edward, 731. 

Wallin, Johan Axel, 789. 

Washington County, 405. 

White Bear Lake Lutheran Congrega- 
tion, 162. 

Wedin, Eev. P., 227. 

Welander, Nels Oscar, 610. 

Welton, Charles A., 509. 

Werdenhoff, Carl Wilhelm, 650. 

Werner, Nils 0., 518. 

Werner, Olof S., 383. 

Wessberg, John, 1057. 

Westerdahl, Nels, 763. 

Westin, Henry, 592. 

Westlund, John, 932. 

Westlund, Peter, 931. 

Westman Brothers, 550. 

Westman, Charles J., 467. 

Westman, Gustaf H., 550. 

Westman, Eichard E., 550. 

Wickstrom, Hugo, 1101. 

Wickstrom, Peter Emanuel, 717. 

Willmar District, Swedish Lutheran 
Church, 174. 

Willmar District Swedish Lutheran 
Congregations, New London, Tripo- 
lis, Atwater, Grove City, Beckville, 
Cosmos, Willmar, Mamrelund, Svea 
(Kandiyohi County), Litchfield, 
Ostmark, Benson, Bethesda (Swift 
County), Lake Lillian, Zions (Chip- 
pewa County), Bethania (Pope 
County), Christine, Eosendale, and 
Manannah, 174-175. 

Williams, Joseph Gustave, 572. 

Williams, William Oscar, 972. 

Wilson, Andrew M., 7'38. 

Wisconsin Congregations in Duluth Dis- 
trict, Ashland, Bayfield, Washburn, 
Pilgrim (Superior), Salem (Supe- 
rior), South Eange, Superior, Beth- 
ania, Poplar, Port Wing, Birchlake, 
and Nebagamon, 165. 

Youngdahl, Anton Cervenus, 296. 

Zimmerman, Axel E., 1016. 
Zion Church, Minneapolis, 164. 



\ 



THE SWEDISH ^ AMERICANS 

OF MINNESOTA 



CHAPTER I. 

OUR FOREFATHERS. 

It is of the weather-beaten Vikings of the North, the Scandinavians, 
the Germans, the Anglo-Saxons — in short, the ancestors through whom 
we are mutually related, whether born on the American prairies or in the 
rocky valleys of Sweden — we are going to recall a few things that may 
be of interest to the younger generation. We are not going to boast of 
olden times compared with modern. We believe in the eternal progress 
of humanity, and therefore assert that man is happier, more civilized, 
and in many regards better now than of yore. Nevertheless, it is good, 
sometimes, to revive some of the rich though violent natural powers, the 
strong impulses and feelings, the energetic actions of that time and of 
that proud race. 

The modern, comfortable life in luxury and amidst all conveniences 
is more agreeable, it is true, but sometimes it enervates the race and 
makes the young people lazy and sluggish. And still, we would not 
like to exchange our cozy rooms, with carpets and rocking chairs, stoves 
and crystal panes, gas chandeliers or electric lights, for our forefathers' 
dirty shanties, or for their large halls with the damp earthen floors, with- 
out windows, the fire burning in the middle of the room and the smoke 
scorching the eyes. Let us look into their life. They cook, eat and 
sleep in the same room; the warriors and laborers step in with their 
damp clothes, throw them off, and warm their wet backs at the fire, 
so that you are nearly stifled in the close air. The food is served in 

I 



2 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

wooden vessels ; they grasp slices of meat with their fingers, and cut 
it with the knife, which always hangs at their belt. They spice their 
meal by telling how many they have killed in the last slaughter. In the 
old sagas we have descriptions of festivals at the royal court, and it 
looks pretty rough there. The guests eat and drink terribly. Intem- 
perance in the pleasures of the table and disgust at peaceful labors — 
these were the chief sins of our ancestors. 

Our ancestors felt a disgust at peaceful work, because it was con- 
sidered a shame to till the soil, this being a work for thralls and 
women, not for free men. The only occupation becoming a free warrior 
was to fight and ravage. And out they dashed in their boats made of 
hides, or in their war galleys with the gaping dragon head at the 
prow ; landed where it might happen ; burned, murdered, and dragged 
along with them cattle and people. The world belonged to those who 
could take it with fist or sword. Such were the common ideas at that 
time. Yet it is inspiring to read about those old vikings, because there 
breathes such a defiant courage, such a vital power from each page ; 
but their life was often horribly wild. Sometimes they raged as tigers 
and lions coming direct from the woods. We all know the prayer in the 
French litania of that time, "Lord, deliver us from the fury of the 
Normans." 

"Of all the barbarians these are the strongest of body and heart, the 
most formidable," says an old author. Vikings were found "who had 
never slept under the smoky rafters of a roof, nor ever drained the ale 
hom by an inhabited hearth," They laughed at wind and weather 
and sang: "The blast of the tempest aids our oars; the bellowing of 
heaven, the howling of the thunder hurt us not; the hurricane is our 
servant and drives us whither we wish to go." 

A saga about King Half and his warriors gives a lively picture of 
this swelling youthful defiance. The young king (he was only twelve 
years old) would not take on board his ship anyone who was not able 
to lift a certain big stone in the palace yard. Strong men were sought 
through the whole country, but only twelve were found who could per- 
form that feat. The king himself gave laws for his party, and among 
his commandments were the following: Nobody was allowed to carry a 
sword longer than two feet, that he might be compelled to go close to 
his enemy; nobody should groan with pain; nobody should dress his 
wounds before the day after the battle; they should never shorten sail 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 3 

when in a storm, never seek harbor during a hurricane; never hurt 
women or children, never attack peaceful merchants. Once the ship 
sprung a-leak, and one of the men proposed that some of them should 
jump overboard to lighten the vessel. The king said, they might cast 
lots; but it proved unnecessary. The men jumped overboard with a merry 
joke on their lips. With such men you can conquer. And they con- 
quered. The Scandinavian vikings went like a consuming flame through 
Scotland, England, Ireland, France and Spain. They burned Bordeaux, 
they besieged Sevilla; the French kings were at last obliged to hire 
some of them to defend the kingdom against their fellow countrymen. 

The idea that this wild warfare was the only proper occupation for 
a free man had seized on their minds to such an extent that the women 
too shared it. When young Egil, son of Grim, will take a seat near 
the daughter of a Danish earl, she repels him with scorn, saying: "You 
can not sit here at my side. Seldom have you provided the wolves with 
hot meat, nor have you, through the whole autumn, seen raven croaking 
over the carnage." But Egil seized her and sang: "I have walked with 
bloody sword, and the raven followed me. Furiously we fought; the 
fire passed over the dwellings of men; we sent to sleep those who kept 
the gates." And then she felt satisfied. Such was the conversation at 
table at that time. To die on the sickbed was considered a shame. 
Feeling dangerously ill, a man ought to dedicate himself to Odin by 
"writing blood runes on his breast," i. e., running a sword through his 
body. It was impossible for them to thrive by peaceful labor. Having 
settled in foreign countries, they looked around for war, and, unable to 
find any, they fought among themselves. Christianity could not check 
their love of strife. Wild and cruel deeds took place as often after its 
introductions as before. And through the medieval ages the gloomy 
castles with their loopholes and moats and drawbridges bear witness that 
people always were compelled to live on a war footing. 

One evil followed in the tracks of our ancestors, contempt for 
peaceful work — slavery. As they did not till the soil themselves, they 
were compelled to get others to do so. Therefore they captured or 
bought thralls. In a biography of Bishop Wolstan we are told that at 
Bristol, at the time of the Conquest, it was the custom to buy men and 
women from all parts of England and to carry them to Ireland for sale, 
in order to make money. "You might have seen with sorrow," says the 
old author, "long lines of young people of both sexes, and of the greatest 



4 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

beauty, bound with ropes and daily exposed for sale." Many high-born 
people were in that way sold as slaves, and compelled to drag on their 
existence in a foreign country as the meanest servants. In the old 
"Laxdola Saga" we are told of an Irish princess, Melkorka, who was 
sold to an Icelandic nobleman, and was made his servant and concubine. 
Ashamed of her pitiful fate, she acted as if dumb, and only by chance 
was^ it discovered that she was able to talk. 

But let us not speak too loudly of the disgrace of slavery among 
our ancestors, we who have tolerated this infamy among ourselves up 
to so late a day, and made it lawful in the name of Christianity! Let 
us not do our ancestors an injustice! When we shudder at thinking 
of the red stream of blood unceasingly winding its way through the 
old sagas, we ought to remember that the olden times were rough ; that 
the views and nerves and manners of men were different from ours. 
\Miat we would call politeness and gentlemanlike behavior, they would 
have called weakness and cowardice; and when we read about the more 
civilized nations of the same time, the Romans and the Greeks, for in- 
stance, we find that they were not better at all; but cruelty and moral 
corruption and vice were with them often hidden under a cover of 
hvpocrisy and smoothness. We must always remember to mete the past 
with its own measure, else we shall do injustice to it. Under the crude 
crust of raw instincts and wild actions our ancestors possessed many 
virtues, many noble dispositions which it would be a benefit to revive 
nowadays, and which enabled them to infuse the Roman world with 
fresh, healthy blood and moral strength. 

Our ancestors were trustworthy. Their enemies said of them that 
they were reliable. If they said "yes," they meant yea; if they said "no," 
they meant nay. The moving forces of their life were an intense desire 
for independence and a faculty to give themselves entirely to the choice 
of their hearts or mind. At the time when they, like other nomads, 
still moved along with their wives and children and servants and cattle, 
they settled for a while near a spring or a wood which struck their 
fancy, and where they felt most independent. They hunted the beasts 
and defended their goods with the sword. Increasing in number, they 
gathered together in small societies and made laws. But the character 
of those laws is thus described: "Each in his own home, on his land 
and in his hut, is his own master, upright and free, in no wise restrained or 
shackled. If the common weal received anjthing from him, it was be- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 5 

cause he gave it. He gave his vote in arms in all great conferences, 
passed judgment in the assembly, made alliances and wars on his own 
account, moved from place to place, showing activity and daring. If 
he bends, it is, because he is quite willing to bend ; he is no less capable 
of self-denial than of self-independence. Self-sacrifice is not uncommon; 
a man cares not for his blood or his life." In the sagas are preserved 
some speeches made by peasants before their king, and all of them 
breathe a manly frankness and independent feeling. 

When King Hakon the Good would force Christianity upon the 
people, one of the peasants answered him before the whole court: 
"When we peasants chose thee our ruler, King Hakon, and thou 
gavest us back our old freedom, we believed that we had embraced 
heaven; but now we do not know how it is: whether we have real 
independence or thou wilt try to make us thralls again; and that in a 
peculiar way, proposing that we shall reject that creed which our parents 
and all our forefathers had before us. They were much stouter than 
we, and still this creed was good enough for them. We have bestowed 
upon thee so great a confidence that we have allowed thee to write laws 
for our country. Now it is the will of all us peasants to keep the 
laws thou gavest us, as we promised; we will all of us follow thee and 
retain thee as our king as long as any of us peasants here present are 
alive, if thou, king, wilt use some moderation and ask of us but what 
we can fulfill and what is possible. But if thou wilt carry this case 
through with such a vehemence and use force and violence against us, 
then we peasants have agreed altogether to depart from thee and choose 
another ruler, who will assure us that we, undisturbed, may have what 
creed we like. Now, king, thou shalt choose either of these terms 
before the court is through." That is an independent man's speech. 
In the time of Olof the Saint, there was a conflict between him and the 
king of Sweden. The Norwegian leaders applied to the Swedish peasant- 
ry for assistance, and the chieftain of the peasants, Thorgny, spoke to 
his king in the following way: "The kings of Sweden think otherwise 
now than in olden times. Thorgny, my grand- father, could remember 
King Erik Emundson, and told me that he every summer went to war 
and conquered many realms in eastern countries, but still he was not 
so arrogant that he would not listen to people who had important mat- 
ters to lay before him. Thorgny, my father, was for a long time at 
King Bjorn's court and knew of his way of behaving. During his reign 



6 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

they proved powerful and suffered no loss, and he was a good man tc 
care for the wants of his friends. I, myself, remember Erik the Victor- 
ious, and followed him on many war expeditions. He extended the 
boundaries of Sweden, defended them with valor and still took advice oi 
us. But the king we now have will not allow any man to speak to 
him about other matters than those pleasing him. Such questions he urges 
with all his might, but loses his colonies for want of celerity and activity. 
He desires to subdue Norway, a feat no Swedish king before him 
aspired to accomplish, and all our troubles are caused thereby. Now it 
is our will, the will of the peasants, that thou, king, shall make peace 
with Olaf, the king of Norway, and give him thy daughter, Ingeborg, 
for a wife ; and if thou wishest to reconquer the eastern provinces which 
thy relatives and forefathers once possessed, then all of us will help 
thee thereto. But if thou wilt not agree to what we propose then we 
will attack thee, and kill thee, and not bear any disturbance or unlawful- 
ness from thee. In a similar way our forefathers have acted in times 
of yore. They took five kings and plunged then into a well, because they 
were too insolent, just as thou art, at present. Tell us now, on the spot, 
which of these conditions thou preferest." And the king was obliged 
to give way. It is the descendants of those peasants who now fill our 
western prairies and forests. They ought to make good material for 
Independent Republicans. 

What our ancestors could tolerate least of all was a coward or a 
man shrinking from pain. Among the laws of King Half was one com- 
mandment that nobody should keep fellowship with a man who would 
groan with pain. Therefore we find that parents always tried to train 
their children to endurance, and warriors die singing and jesting at their 
lacerated bodies. In the saga of the Volsung family { the German Nibe- 
lungen-Lied) it is narrated that Signe sewed the shirts of the male 
children to their bodies and then tore them off, bringing the skin also, 
in order to harden them. It is told of the bard, Tormod, that after the 
battle of Sticklastad, he went into a hut, where the wounded had been 
carried, with an arrow through his body. "Please walk out and bring 
in an armful of wood," said the female surgeon who attended the in- 
jured, and who had not observed how pale he was. Tormod went out 
and came again, throwing the wood in the corner. Then she looked at 
him. "You are pale," she said. "Well," Tormod answered, "I do not 
think that wounds make rosy cheeks." The woman wanted to give him 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 7 

some porridge made of onions, that she might smell whether the wound 
had reached the hollow of the chest or not, but Tormod answered, "No, 
thank you ; I suffer not from porridge disease !" The woman then tried 
to reach the iron with a pair of nippers, but could not, the body was so 
swollen round the wound. "You take the knife and cut and give me the 
pincers," Tormod said. She did so, and Tormod pulled out the iron. 
There were barbs on the arrow, so that red and white shreds of flesh 
hung upon it. "The king has given us plenty of food," he said, "we are 
fat 'round the heart," and with these words he dropped down dead. The 
old warrior Starkad lies on a stone quite cut to pieces, with bowels pro- 
truding from his wounds, but still he will not receive help, and scolds 
every passerby who is not a freeman and can use weapons. 

A physician in the old country was once asked whether such hor- 
rible accounts were not exaggerated. "No," he said, "I do not think 
so, because I have met similar things in my own practice. There was 
a farmer here who went to the forest to chop wood. He slipped on 
the moss, fell against the edge of his ax and cut a hole in his belly so 
that his bowels protruded. He was many miles from help, and alone. 
He then crept, dragging his bowels after him, to a hut built for wood- 
choppers, and lay down on the bench, patiently waiting for somebody 
to come. For two days and nights he lay in that condition. Then two 
other woodchoppers happened to come, and they immediately sent for 
me. I was obliged to clean his wound and open it again with a knife 
and press the bowels through the hole, but he did not utter a groan 
of pain. A month later I met him. He was all right then and worked 
with the others in the field. Such people are so strong and hardy that 
they do not seem to have any nerves." 

Perhaps those nerves of steel and that bodily strength are indicative of 
undeveloped brains, a sign of lower level nearer to the animals. Be that 
as it may, we might nevertheless wish that our young people had more 
of that soundness of body which is the distinguishing mark of our north- 
ern race. With that body of iron our ancestors had strong and tender 
feelings. They were ardent and faithful in their love as in their friend- 
ship. There were none of the old nations that had such respect for 
women as the Teutonic race. She associated freely with men at festivals 
and on the playground. She uttered her opinion and the men listened 
to her. The woman was among them a person, not a thing. The law 
demanded her consent to marriage, surrounded her with guarantees, and 



8 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

accorded her protection. Among the Anglo-Saxons, at least, she might 
inherit and own property, and bequeath it to whomsoever she would. 
She was allowed to appear in courts of justice, and to carry on a lawsuit. 
In the Icelandic sagas it is very often the women who, with their cold 
counsels, stir up their husbands to atrocities and revenge. 

Marriage was pure among our forefathers. "Among the Saxons 
adultery was punished by death; the adulteress was obliged to hang 
herself, or was stabbed by the knives of her companions. The wives of 
the Cimbrians, when they could not obtain from Marius assurance of 
their chastity, slew themselves with their own hands. The men thought 
there was something sacred in a woman. They married but one and 
kept faith with her." When we read of King Harald, the Fairhair, that 
he married nine or ten women, one for almost every province he con- 
quered, it must be considered an exception, done mostly for political 
reasons. And, besides, kings are never to be taken as a pattern in this 
matter. Tacitus writes about marriage among the Germans : "The wife 
on entering her husband's home is aware that she gives herself alto- 
gether ; that she will have but one body, one life with him ; that she will 
have no thought, no desire beyond; that she will be the companion of 
his perils and labors; that she will suffer and dare as much as he both 
in peace and war." The Anglo-Saxon king, Alfred, portrays a mistress 
of the house in the following way : "Thy wife now lives for thee — for 
thee alone. She has enough of all kinds of wealth for this present 
life, but she scorns all for thy sake alone. She has forsaken them all 
because she had not thee with them. Thy absence makes her think 
that all she possesses is naught. Thus, for love of thee, she is wasted 
away and lies near death for tears and grief." 

Reading such words as these, we can understand the saga of Hjal- 
mar and Ingeborg, of Sigrun and Helge. Ingeborg sits waiting for 
her lover Hjalmar to return from the fight with Angantyr and his 
brothers. She hears footsteps out on the porch, she pulls the door 
open — it is his comrade coming alone. He shows Hjalmar's ring. Then 
she understands all and drops dead on the floor. Or Queen Sigrun, 
who has been married to the most glorious of all kings, Helge; he is 
murdered by her own brother. She becomes paralyzed from sorrow; she 
curses her brother, and sits like a marble statue in her palace. Then, 
one day, her maid servant comes running to her, telling her that she 
has seen the dead king, and that he awaits her in his barrow. Sigrun 



SWEDISH-AAIERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 9 

springs to her feet, and hurries to the tomb, where the dead husband 
sits. She flings her arms around his neck, and says: "I will kiss you, 
dead king, before you throw off your bloody cuirasse. Your hair Helge, 
is covered with wine; my king is sprinkled all over with the dew of 
battle; the hands of the bold warrior are cold; how shall I repair your 
injury?" Then he answers: ''You are the cause, Sigrun from Seva 
Mountain, that Helge is sprinkled with the dew of grief; when you, 
golden-robed, sunfair maiden from the South, shed cruel tears before 
you go to bed, every tear drops like blood on my breast, cold as ice, 
heavy with sorrow. But now nobody shall sing mourning songs if he 
sees bloody wounds on my breast, now women have come into the bar- 
row, daughters of kings, to us dead men." And Sigrun leaned her head 
upon his breast and said: "Now I will sleep in your arms as I did 
when you were alive." And she remained in the barrow until dawn. 
Then she saw the king mount his shadowy horse and vanish away in 
the sky. The following night she started for the barrow and gazed, and 
waited; but he did not come. The next night she went there again 
and looked and looked to see whether the pale horses would appear, but 
no one came. Every night she walked to the mound, waited and gazed, 
but he did not come. One morning she did not return — she sat on the 
barrow dead. Her heart was burst with grief. 

We find the same violent passion when they love as when they fight. 
We find similar traits in many of the old sagas; for instance, in the 
story of Hagbart and Signe ; of Bendik and Aarolilja; of Thyra, the 
queen of Olaf Trygg\'ason, who mourned herself to death after the naval 
battle of Svolder, where her hero and husband fell. The remark of 
the French critic Taine is true: "Nothing here like the love we find in 
the primitive poetry of France, Provence, Spain and Greece. There 
is an absence of gayety, of delight : outside of marriage it is only a fero- 
cious appetite, an outbreak of the instinct of the beast. It appears 
nowhere with its charm and its smile ; there is no love song in this ancient 
poetry. The reason is that with them love is not an amusement and 
a pleasure, but a promise and a devotion. All is grave, even somber, 
in civil relations as well as in conjugal society. The deep power of 
love and the grand power of will are the only ones that sway and act." 
If we read the saga of Gisle Surson we will find a picture of a woman 
who can both love and will. She is the wife of the hero; Aud is her 
name. Her boundless confidence in her husband is beautifully shown 



10 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

in her simple words : "I go to Gisle with everything that is too heavy 
for me to bear alone." As her husband is sentenced as an outlaw, 
she flees from all people and settles down on a barren shore of a rock}' 
fiord, in order to assist him. Only once in a while can he visit her, 
and then she must hide him in a subterranean dwelling. In that way 
she lives year after year. Once his persecutors seek to bribe her to 
betray her husband. She acts as if willing, and lifts the bag, heavy 
with silver coins; but suddenly she plants it straight in the face of the 
man, so that the blood streams from his nostrils, and asks him whether 
he believes that Icelandic women will betray their husbands. And at 
last, when they have found the homeless fugitive and he fights his last 
combat, then Aud stands at his side upon the mountain top, and, wanting 
a sword, defends him with a stick. 

This power to give one's self entirely up to another person appears 
not only in the relations between man and woman, it seems to be still 
stronger and more frequent between man and man. There is no race 
that has been stronger in friendship than the Teutonic. It was a com- 
mon custom for friends to mix their blood together to signify that the 
same fate should strike them both, and when one died the other should 
follow him in death. We are told in the Vatsdola saga that the old 
Icelandic , chief Ingemund had entered into friendship with a main 
called Ssegmund. To this Saegmund came a relative named Rolleif ; but 
he behaved so badly that it was impossible for S^egmund to endure it. 
Then Ssegmund went to his friend Ingemund, and told him how it was, 
and begged him to take Rolleif, "because you succeed with all people 
you take care of." Ingemund answered that he did not like to do it, 
because his own sons were grown up and unruly, "but if you still desire 
it I will try, as you are my friend." So he tried it, but his foreboding 
proved true ; there was a daily quarrel and fight between his sons and 
the rascal Rolleif, and he used all occasions to tease them and do them 
harm. Ingemund built a house for Rolleif and his mother far off ; but 
it was the same. There was a river belonging to Ingemund's property, 
very rich in salmon. He had allowed Rolleif to fish there at times, 
when his own sons did not use their nets ; but Rolleif did not care for 
this permission, but fished whenever he pleased. Once Ingemund sent 
out his servants to spread their nets; but Rolleif was at the river and 
hindered them. They quarreled with him about it, and at last he called 
them thralls and rascals, and threw stones at them, striking one of them 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA ii 

senseless. The servants came running home as Ingemund sat at table. 
He asked why they hurried so. They told him how Rolleif had treated 
them. Then Jakul, the second son of Ingemund, exclaimed: "It seems 
as if Rolleif were the chieftain here in the valley, and will ill treat us, 
as he does all others, but never shall that scoundrel bring us under the 
yoke !" Torstein, the oldest son of Ingemund, said, "I think it is going 
too far now, but still it is best to act quietly." The father advised them 
to do so, but Jakul jumped to his feet and said, "I would like to try 
whether or not I am able to drive him from the coast." Ingemund said, 
"Son Torstein, please follow your brother, I have most confidence in 
you." Torstein answered, "I do not know as I can keep Jakul back, 
and I will not promise to stand still if he fights with Rolleif." Coming 
to the river, the brothers saw Rolleif fishing there on the opposite shore. 
Jakul cried at a distance, "Begone, rascal ! else we shall play with you 
in a way you do not like." Rolleif laughed, "If there were three or four 
such sparrows as you, I would continue my work in spite of your piping." 
"You rely upon the witchcraft of your mother," cried Jakul, and jumped 
out into the river, but the water was so deep there he could not wade 
across. "Do your duty," said Torstein, "and let there not be any quarrel 
between us." But Jakul cried, "Let us kill that wretch !" Now Rolleif 
commenced to throw stones at them, and the brothers responded in the 
same way. Jakul tried another ford farther up. Ingemund sat quietly 
at home, when a man came running, telling him that his sons and Rolleif 
were stoning each other. Ingemund said, "Make ready my horse ; I will 
ride over there." He was then very old and nearly blind. He had cast 
a blue cloak over his dress. One of his servants led the horse. When 
Torstein discovered him, he said, "There comes father ! let us retire ; I 
am anxious for him here." Ingemund rode down to the shore and 
cried, "Rolleif, go away from the river and think upon your duty." But 
at the same moment Rolleif got a glimpse of Ingemund, he flung his 
lance at him and hit him in the middle of the waist. When Ingemund 
felt he was stabbed, he turned his horse and said to his servant, "Lead 
me home!" Arrived home, it was late in the evening. Dismounting 
his horse, he said, "I am stiff now ; that is the way with us old folk ; 
we get tottering feet." The servant supported him, and then he heard 
a peculiar sound, and he discovered the lance through his master's body. 
Ingemund said, "You have been a faithful servant ; now do as I want. 
Go immediately to Rolleif and tell him to leave before dawn, because 



12 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF AIINNESOTA 

tomorrow my sons will demand the blood of their father on his hands. 
It is no revenge for me that he shall be killed, and it is my duty to pro- 
tect the man I have taken into my house as long as I can." With these 
words he broke off the spear shaft, and leaning on his servant he went 
in and sat himself in the high seat. He forbade them to light any candle 
before his sons came home. The servant hurried back to Rolleif, and 
said to him: "You are the meanest wretch in the world. Now you 
have killed old man Ingemund,.the best man in Iceland. He begged me 
to tell you that you ought to leave tomorrow, because his sons doubtless 
will seek your life. Now I have advised you ; but telling the truth, I 
should rather have seen your head under the ax of the brothers." Rolleif 
answered, "If you had not brought these tidings, you would never have 
gone hence alive." When the brothers entered the hall, it was dark. 
Torstein groped his way forward, but suddenly he recoiled, "here is 
something wet!" he said. The mother answered, "It has dripped from 
the cloak of Ingemund ; I presume it rains." Torstein cried, "No ; it is 
slippery like blood. Light the candles !" They did so. There sat Inge- 
mund in the high seat, dead. The lance still pierced his body. Jakul 
was first to break the silence. "It is awful to know that such a man as 
father is killed by that rascal ; let us go and stab him." But Torstein 
answered, "You do not know our father, if you have any doubt that 
he has warned the wretch. Where is the servant who followed father?" 
They said he was not at home. "Then neither is Rolleif at home," an- 
swered Torstein ; "but that must be our comfort that there was a great 
difference between our father and Rolleif, and that will be to his benefit 
before Him who has created the sun and the whole world, whoever that 
is." But Jakul was so furious that they could scarcely restrain him. 
Ingemund was laid in his own boat, and there was made a mound over 
him. But when the sad tidings came to Ingemund's friend, Eyvind, he 
said to his foster-son: "Go and tell my friend Gant what I am doing;" 
and at the same moment he drew his sword, threw himself on its point, 
and died. When Gant heard of this he said, "When such a man leaves 
us it is best to keep his company," and with these words he stabbed 
himself with his sword. 

The same devotedness as to friends, our ancestor showed also toward 
his chief. "Having chosen his chief, he forgets himself in him, assigns 
to him his own glor}% serves him to the death." Tacitus says : "He is 
infamous as Ions: as he lives who returns from the field of battle without 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 13 

his chief." It was on this vokmtary subordination that feudal society 
was based. Men in this race can accept a superior; can be capable of 
devotion and respect. "Old as I am," says one of their old poets, "I 
will not budge hence. I mean to die by my lord's side, near this man 
I have loved." In the saga of Rolf Krake, as it is told by the Danish 
historian Saxo Grammaticus, Bodvar Bjarke, says to his Danish cham- 
pion, Hjalte, when they fight their last fight: "Let us, while the blood 
still runs warm through our veins, try to die like honest men. I will 
sink down at the head of my lord; thou, Hjalte, lie down at his feet. 
It is nothing that ravens and eagles will peck our corpses, when we fall 
as bold and valiant warriors on the battle field beside our king." To 
follow their chosen chieftain and die for his sake was the most glorious 
life they knew. This view of life saturates their whole rehgion. God 
Odin would not receive in his abode of Valhalla other than those who had 
sunk down with wounds on their breast, and beyond the grave they live 
the same wild life again. They were to meet with their friends and 
chiefs, and fight at their side, just as here on earth. The Greek heathen 
put all weight upon this life, and urged the enjoyment and happiness of 
earth. But the Scandinavian heathen raised the life of man from the 
dead, and let it grow still stronger and greater on the other side of the 
tomb. To him death was only the entrance gate to a more glorious life 
than the present, and, therefore, they could die singing, could laugh at 
their wounds; mingle in the bloodiest fight with cold contempt of injuries 
and death. Their harshest enemies, the Romans, stood in wondering 
reverence before that peculiar trait of character, and the Latin poet, 
Lucan, sings of these barbarians : "Where we see only pale shadows 
through the foggy sky there the spirit builds before your eyes a new hall. 
If we may reckon after your songs, death only divides the stream of 
life, which in the next world swells with new power through every limb. 
Question the people who live in the north ; are they in terror in regard to 
this matter? They have got rid of the worst fear on earth, the fear 
of death. They have heroic courage; they are the conquerors of death; 
they deem it paltry to chaffer about a life they shall regain." And this 
idea of the warrior's life under the standard of a glorious chieftain as 
the most desirable life of man was not extinguished by Christianity. 
Rather obtained nobler aims and stronger vitality. Jesus Christ was 
made the most powerful chieftain that ever lived — greater than both, 
Odin and Thor — but carrying on the same fight as they, the fight against 



14 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

the evil spirits, the Jotuns, Satan and his angels. He broke down the 
walls of death and hell, and rose the glorious victor on the third day, 
and his faithful followers we shall be, suffering and fighting under His 
banner, dying with Him in order to be raised with Him. It was the 
same train of ideas as in the heathen days, only changed to a Christian 
foundation, with Christian names. That our ancestors preferred to look 
at Jesus Christ as the valiant hero we may see from the poems of 
Csedmon, the oldest religious poems we have in any northern tongue. 
Csedmon lived in Northumberland, in the last part of the seventh century. 
When he sings about the death of Christ on the cross, it is not the suffer- 
ing Christ, dragged about the streets of Jerusalem to Golgotha, powerless, 
bleeding, nearly sinking. No ; it is Christ as a young and vigorous hero, 
who voluntarily ascends in order to liberate us. He sings thus ; it is the 
holy cross itself which is speaking: 'The young hero, God Almighty, 
bold and valiant, girded himself and ascended the high gallows cour- 
ageously before many eyes, because he would unbind the chains of the 
world." And under the same aspect of Vikings who are on the warpath 
they looked upon the apostles. In an old poem of Andreas the apostles 
are described in the following manner : "Once in olden times there lived 
twelve glorious champions, the thanes of the Lord. When they struck 
their helmets they never grew tired. They were famous men, bold chief- 
tains, courageous in warfare when hand and shield fought for the Lord 
on the battlefield." Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea are called "the 
heroes of Hild;" that is, the goddess of battle. Abraham and Lot roam 
about as vikings, taking land where the country seems to be most pleasant ; 
Moses is the famous chieftain "who leads out the Hebrew warriors; 
their ramblings ; their encounter with Pharaoh are described as one 
of their heathen bards would describe a war expedition of the 
old vikings. Thus C?edmon writes: "They encamped, and the 
tired warriors threw themselves into the grass. The helpers in the 
kitchen brought them food, and the men recovered their strength. They 
pitched their tents on the hill slopes, while the war-bugles sounded; it 
was the fourth camp. Round the Red Sea rested the shield bearers." 
Then Pharaoh comes persecuting them. "Look, how it shines, yonder by 
the forest! Banners wave, people march, the spears are sharpened, the 
shields twinkle, war is over our heads, trumpets sound. The coarse, 
voracious birds of battle, the black ravens, have chosen their field and 
cry for corpses ; wolves howl their ugly evening song ; they expect battle- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 15 

food. The breath of death blew wildly over the people, and they were 
stopped." So the old poet describes how the Egyptians perish: "The 
folk were affrighted; the dread of the flood seized on their sad souls; 
with a roaring came the ocean ; it bellowed death, it foamed gore, and the 
water spouted blood on the mountain sides. The waves filled with 
weapons, with screams, all wrapped in fogs of death — the Egyptians 
rushed round, fled trembling from fear and anguish; but against them, 
like a cloud, rose the fell rollings of the waves ; nobody was saved ; from 
behind fate closed the gates with the billows ; where roads once lay, sea 
raged. The air was mixed with smell of corpses; the breakers burst and 
rolled and killed in their embrace. No one was spared ; not a single one 
of the numberless thanes returned with the sad tidings to the castle to 
tell their wives about the fall of their chiefs." 

This description reminds us of the wild war songs which the Scandi- 
navian vikings sang three hundred years later, when they ravaged the 
coasts of Ireland and England. 



"Come and weave, come and weave 

The texture of battle; 
Of entrails of man 

Is taken the warp. 
With the skulls of man 

It is strongly stretched out. 

Bloody spears 

Shall become the shuttles, 
The beams are steel. 

The reeds are arrows ; 
Make thus with the sword 

The web of victory tight." 



Now we may understand why Bishop Ulfila, the first translator of the 
Bible into the Gothic language, did not dare to include the Books of the 
Kings, because he feared that his countrymen would become too excited 
and too eager for war. Now we may understand why the beautiful 



i6 SWEDISH-AMERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

and characteristic story of Saint Christopher has grown among his race 
— the giant who, strong himself, would serve the strongest, and first 
applied to the emperor, but, discovering that he feared the devil, went 
to him, and, seeing that the devil was scared by the cross, went to the 
master of the cross and served him humbly and patiently till his death. 
It is the faithfulness to the chosen chieftain which emerges in this legend, 
too; and they take with them into Christianity all the heathen terms and 
names, so that they dare call Christ the "Frey of the World," the loving 
Balder, and the "King of Victory." 

This swelling defiance and power, this endless desire for becoming 
independent and rulers, which is characteristic of our forefathers, has 
its strongest poetic expression in the picture of Satan, Csedmon's master- 
piece. He puts the following words into the mouth of Satan : "Why 
shall I for his favor serve, bend to him in such vassalage? I may be a 
god like him. Stand by me, strong companions, who will not fail me 
in the strife. Heroes, stern of mood, they have chosen me for chief; 
renowned warriors ! With such may one devise counsel, with such 
capture his adherents ; they are my zealous friends, faithful in their 
thoughts. I may be their chieftain, sway in this realm; thus to me it 
seemeth not right, that I in aught need cringe to God for any good ; I 
will no longer be his vassal." He is overcome, but not subdued. He 
does not repent. He is cast into the place "where torment they suffer, 
burning heat in the midst of hell, fire and broad flames." At first he 
is astonished; he despairs, but it is a hero's despair. Proud he looks 
around: "Is this the place where my Lord imprisons me? It is most 
unlike that war that we ever knew, high in heaven's kingdom, which 
my master bestowed on me. Oh, had I power of my hands and might 
one season be without — be one winter's space — then with this host I 

But around me lie iron bands ; presseth this cord of chain. I 

am powerless ! ]\Ie have so hard the clamps of hell so firmly grasped." 

In a poem, "Christ and Satan," he depicts Satan in hell, lamenting, 
"Never with my hands I heaven reach, never with my eyes I upward see, 
never with my ears I hear the sweet tunes from the trumpets of the 
angels, never in all eternity — never! never!" "As there is nothing to be 
done against God, it is his new creature man he must attack. Vengeance 
is the only thing left him, and if the conquered can enjoy this, he will 
find himself happy ; he will sleep softly even under his chains." 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 17 

Beside this old poet Milton grows pale. But they are related to 
each other, and they have had their originals from the same race— 
Ceedmon in the wild obstinate vikings of the north, Milton in the sturdy 

Puritans 

What a singular people those old ancestors were ! What a natural 
power! What an imagination! What desire for adventure! What 
intense feelings ! What a childlike mind ! As the French king Chlodvig 
listened to the story of the suffering Christ he exclaimed, "If I had only 
been there with my Franks!" How strange to see them place their 
happiness in battle, their beauty in death ! Is there any people— Hindoo, 
Persian, Greek or Gallic— which has formed such a tragic conception 
of life? Is there any which has peopled its infantile mind with such 
gloomy dreams? Is there any which has banished from its dreams the 
sweetness of enjoyment and the softness of pleasure? Endeavors, tena- 
cious and mournful endeavors— such was their chosen condition. Strife 
for strife's sake— such was their pleasure. "When we see traveling 
English people nowadays," says Carlyle, "we know the race." "To 
climb all the mountain tops where nobody else has been, to risk their 
lives in crawling over precipices, to vie with each other in walking, in 
rowing, in swimming— yes, in eating, too,— that is an inheritance from 
their ancestors, the race of bodily strength, of tenacious will and defiance, 
of contempt of death." 

There is one thing more that should be mentioned in this connection, 
and that is their love of music and song. The bard must never fall, 
either under the banner of the king, in the battle or at the table in the 
hall, when the wine and mead warmed their blood, the harp went round, 
and they sang of the wild noise of war and of faithful woman's love. 
The bard was a dear guest. Where he went the gates flung open to him, 
he was placed in the high seat, and purple cloaks and golden chains were 
presented to him. Before the batde of Sticklastad, King Olof asked the 
bard Tormod to awake the sleeping camp by an old war-song, and in the 
battle of Hastings the bard Toillifer rode before the army of William the 
Conqueror, sang and threw the first lance toward the enemy. At the 
time of Charles the Great a law existed in one of his domains "that the 
man who wounded a harpplayer in his hand should pay one-fourth more 
in fine than if he had hurt another man." The bard was a teacher of 
religion, of history and of all the sciences. "In King Edgar's time,'" 



i8 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

says an old historian, "you heard music, song and dance from the monas- 
teries till midnight." This taste for music and poetry gives reconciliation 
to the drinking parties ; it breathes spirit into the rough and brutish talk. 
And we may proudly say that a society where woman is respected, where 
marriage is holy, which is founded on faithfulness and truth, on devoted- 
ness to what is held dear, is a society fit for development, a society destined 
to have a mission in this world. — [From a lecture by Kristofer Janson.] 



CHAPTER II. 

A GLANCE AT THE HISTORY OF SWEDEN. 

By Dr. Victor Nilsson. 

There are, in the lives of almost every man and woman of alien 
birth, some moment or crisis in which consolation and strength are found 
in the consciousness of racial characteristics. You feel that this you must 
do, or that you cannot do because of the blood or the very backbone 
of your racial character. There can be no race that a man or woman 
may be more proud of belonging to than the Swedish, the oldest and 
most unmixed race in Europe. Other nations have, through their men 
of learning, striven to establish the fact that they are of mixed blood, 
attempts which the Swedes have watched with equanimity, failing to 
comprehend the hypothetical superiority of the mixed races. 

The Swedes of old, very late, realized the necessity of writing 
chronicles or reviews of historic events. Thus the names of heroes and 
kings of the remote past are helplessly forgotten, and also the history of 
the earliest religion and institutions. But mother earth has carefully 
preserved most of what has been deposited in her bosom, and has repaid 
diligent research with trustworthy and irrefutable accounts of the age 
and various degrees of civilization of the race which inhabited Sweden 
in prehistoric times. Thus it has been proved that Sweden, like most 
other countries, has had a Stone Age, a Bronze Age and an Iron Age, 
each of these quite uniquely and highly developed. But the graves from 
the remotest times, through all successive periods, prove by the form 
of the skulls of those buried in them that Sweden, through all ages, 
has been inhabited by the same dolichocephalic, or long-skulled race, 
which constitutes the overwhelming majority of her people today. 

The southernmost province of Sweden is called Scania, or earlier, 
Scandza. It is in soil the richest of all lands in the north of Europe, 
while its climate is especially mild for a country so near the Arctic pole. 

' 19 



20 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Already in the Stone Age Scania, for centuries a realm by itself, was 
more densely populated than any other part of the country ; in fact 
the whole of the Scandinavian peninsula was peopled and settled by its 
stock, also owing its very name to it. But Scania, known tO' antiquity as 
an island north of the Teuton sea, had a much greater mission, the 
nature of which has but slowly dawned upon the world. "In the North 
there is a great ocean, and in this ocean there is a large island called 
Scandza, out of whose loins our race burst forth like a swarm of bees 
and spread over Europe." These words were put on parchment early 
in the sixth century by the Gothic historian Jordanes, and inspired by 
the popular traditions of a Teutonic migration from the North. Jordanes 
says that these traditions existed among the East and West Goths, the 
Longobardians, Gepidae, Burgundians, Herulians, Franks, Saxons, 
Swabians, and Alemannians. "The island of Scandza," says Jordanes, 
"has been oificina gentium, vagina nationum — the source of races, the 
mother of nations." Some scientists have diligently tried to disprove the 
truth of these statements, but not successfully. The researches of modern 
archaeology and philology all go to establish the correctness of the state- 
ments made by Jordanes. Archaeology has proved that the people pos- 
sessing the southernmost parts of Sweden during the Stone Age and 
from there gradually spreading over the entire peninsula, named Scandi- 
navia, after this "island" of Scandza, were of an ancient branch of the 
Indo-European race. Philology has proved that the Scandinavian peoples 
of this remote period were not separated as to language from the rest 
of the Teutonic stock. From these proofs we gather that it was one 
or several tribes of the Indo-European race, that settled in Scania, from 
which issued the differentiated tribes of Teutons native to its soil. That 
the Danish isles and the northwestern coast of Germany were early made 
parts of this process of race differentiation, has been established by 
historic research. 

The first information of the religion practiced by the inhabitants 
of Sweden, or Scandinavia at large, is given by Prokopios, a Byzantine 
author and a contemporary of Jordanes and the emperor Justinian. 
Prokopios says that the ancient Swedes worshipped many gods and 
spirits of the sky, air, earth, sea, and also some who were supposed to 
dwell in springs and rivers. Offerings were constantly made, the chief 
ones being of human beings, for which the first prisoner made in war 
was destined. This sacrifice was made to "Mars," who was the highest 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 21 

god. The Scandinavian war-god corresponding to the Mars of classical 
mythology was Tyr. Odin, originally the ruler of the wind, became 
the highest god during the Viking Age. Odin is an aristocratic god, 
the god of the select few, whose cult succeeded that of Tyr, as the cult 
of the latter had succeeded the one of Thor, the thunderer, as the 
highest among the gods. The idea of a supreme God was unknown until 
the contact with Christianity, or at least not common. Thor, the peasant 
god, is probably the oldest of the deities of Teutonic mythology, the 
representative of stern power and law-bound order. In Sweden, Thor 
was the most popular god, to judge from the great number of ancient 
Swedish proper names of which his own forms a part. Besides Thor, 
Odin and Frey (the sun god), were the most honored. All the other 
gods and goddesses mentioned in old Icelandic literature were probably 
known, but few of them much worshiped in Sweden. 

The most important among the chieftains of Sweden was, from 
time immemorial, the king of Upsala by the Fyris river, in the central 
part of the country. He conducted the sacrifices and temple service at 
Upsala, the oldest and most celebrated place of heathen worship in the 
Teutonic North. The founder of the dynasty, which was of Scanian 
origin, was Yngve, who is said to have built the great temple at Upsala, 
moving thither the capital from the older Sigtuna (both in the province 
of Upland). The Herulians appear to have been forced from their 
homes in the south of Scania, and the Danish isles by the Danes, who 
were originally of a north-Scanian tril3e, while the Burgundians migrated 
south from the island of Borgholm or Burgundarholm. The Goths 
originally lived in the southeast portion of Sweden and the island of 
Gothland, and appear to have sought new homes on the continent in the 
third century after Christ. They were joined by the Gepidae who had 
been their neighbors ; also the Herulians became associated with them. 
As to the Herulians, a migration back to their original home in Sweden 
took place in historic times, their new settlements being in the province 
of Bleking and the southern part of Smaland. This Herulian district, 
for many centuries having their own laws, customs and traditions, was 
known under the name of Varend. 

The old English poem of "Beowulf," the earliest epos in a Teutonic 
dialect, contains a good deal about the Sweden of old. The mythic hero 
of the poem Beowulf, is of the princely house of the Geats (Gauts or 
Goths), of southern Sweden, while the scene of action is partly in this 



22 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

region, Gautland, partly in the Danish realm. Aluch is told of the wars 
between Gauts and Sviar, the Swedes of central Sweden, and the poem 
renders the service of a firm chronological support to facts gathered 
from other sources as to the names and reigns of early Swedish kings. 
Hugleik, king of the Gauts, and his contemporary, king Ottar of the 
Swedes, both play prominent parts in the epos. The former died in the 
year of 515 A. D., in battle against Frisians and Franks. From Beowulf 
one understands how nearly related were the royal houses of the Swedes 
and Gauts which for centuries fought for the throne of Sweden and 
the supremacy of the realm that rose as a unit out of the lands and 
provinces over which they ruled. 

A century or two after Jordanes wrote his history of the Goths, 
naming Sweden or Scania as the mother of Teutonic nations, a new 
phenomenon began to be observed which most forcibly gave evidence 
of the world-conquering instincts of the Scandinavian peoples. This 
phenomenon has been called the Viking Age. For centuries the inhabi- 
tants of the Scandinavian North, through their southern kinsmen, had 
been in contact with continental culture. But now, towards the close 
of the eighth century, they came out to see for themselves, to make them- 
selves a place in a wider and richer world, or to bring home from there 
what they most desired of beauty, riches and culture. They were not 
delicate as to means. Violence with them was as natural as their freedom 
of individuality was indispensable. Yet they were to play a most impor- 
tant part in the cultural development of Europe, furnishing her with 
institutions of imperishable iron and gradually changing the darkness 
of the Middle Ages into an era of chivalry, in spirit and in deed. 

To Norwegians and Danes fell the lot of creating dominions in 
France, the British Isles and Sicily, while to the Swedes was given the 
mission to found the Russian empire. And this was no self-imposed 
task, for according to the Russian historian Nestor, the Slavs themselves 
sent for Swedish or Variag princes to establish among them the govern- 
ment of that vast northern domain. This was in the year of 862. 
Three brothers, Rurik, Sineus and Truvor, or Hrorekr, Signjotr and 
Tryggve (as were their real Swedish names), took the whole population 
of their native district of Rus or Roslagen (the coast of Upland), with 
them, and founded in Russia the principalities of Novgorod, Bielo-Jesero 
and Isborsk, respectively. Rurik, at the early death of his younger 
brothers, becoming sole lord of the new empire. For two hundred years 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 23 

after Rurik, all the leading- men in Russian history carry Swedish names, 
and all the czars of Russia were the descendants of Rurik up to the year 
of 1598. The early czars paid tribute, or scat, to the Swedish king at 
Upsala, even Jaroslav, the Charlemagne of Russia in 1019 giving assur- 
ance that it would be paid regularly. Ingiald, a descendant of Yngve, 
is said to have joined all Sweden into one realm under the supremacy 
of the Upsala kings. Of him says the Icelandic historian Snorri Sturlason 
of the Middle Ages : "It was a common saying- that King Ingiald had 
killed twelve kings and deceived them all under the pretence of peace; 
therefore he was called Ingiald Illrade (the evil adviser)." King Ingiald 
must have ruled during the latter half of the seventh century. 

Before the year 1060, Sweden was an Old-Teutonic state, certainly 
of a later form and larger compass than the earliest of such, but with 
its democracy of free men and its elective kingdom preserved. The 
older Sweden, such as it had existed at least since the days of Ingiald 
Illrade, was in regard to its constitution a rudimentary union of states. 
The realm had come into existence through the cunning and violence of 
the king of the Swedes, or Sviar in a limited sense, who made away 
with the kings of the respective lands, making their communities pay 
homage to him. No change in the interior affairs of the different lands 
was thereby effected; they lost their outward political independence, but 
remained mutually on terms of perfect equality. They were united only 
through the king who was the only centre of the union government. 
On this historic basis the Swedish realm was built and rested firmly until 
the commencement of the Middle Ages. 

The gospel of Christ was first preached in Sweden in the year of 
830 by Ansgar, a learned and saintly monk, sent there by Emperor Louis 
the Pious. But it took the Roman church three more centuries before 
it had firmly established itself in Sweden as the state religion of the 
country. The Scandinavian countries were among the last to join, and 
the first to leave Catholicism. The first centuries of the Middle Ages 
were one continuous process of regeneration, the Swedish people being 
carried into the European circle of cultural development and made a 
communicant of Christianity. With the commencement of the thirteenth 
century, Sweden comes out of this process of regeneration as a mediseval 
state, in aspect entirely different from that of her past. The democratic 
equality among free men has turned into an aristocracy, with aristocratic 
institutions, the hereditary kingdom into an elective, or, at least, into 



24 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

one close upon turning into an elective, while the provincial particularism 
and independence have given way to the constitution of a centralized, 
monopolistic state. 

The kings of Sweden were, up to the time of Ansgar's missionary 
visits, of the old royal line, supposed to be the descendants of the gods. 
King Olof Skotkonung, who died in 1021, was the first Swedish monarch 
to be converted to the religion of Christ. With his son. King Emund. 
who died in the year 1060, the old royal line became extinct. For 
the next two hundred years the throne of Sweden was occupied by the 
representatives of two interchanging dynasties, one with its stronghold 
in heathen conservative Svealand, but slowly converted to Christian faith, 
the other with its chief following in earlier Christianized Gothaland. 
The most remarkable of these was Eric IX or St. Eric, who was the 
first to arrange for a crusade with object of converting the heathen 
inhabitants of Finland. King Eric became the patron saint of Sweden. 
The royal line of St. Eric became extinct with his great grandson, Eric 
XI, in 1250, and to the throne now succeeded the Folkung dynasty, a race 
of stern law-givers and indulgent princes, much given to strife between 
its own members. The founder of the dynasty was the uncrowned ruler 
of the country, Birger Jarl (jarl meaning chancellor of the realm), the 
father of King Valdemar. Birger fortified Stockholm and made it the 
capital of the kingdom and completed the Christianizing conquest of 
Finland. His mission as a law-giver was completed by his second son 
of the purple, Magnus, who had dethroned the weakling Valdemar, and 
by his great-grandson, King Magnus Birgersson. The latter was, at 
the height of his power, one of the mightiest monarchs of Europe. 
Having inherited the throne of Norway from his mother's side and 
through purchase obtained the provinces of Scania and Bleking from 
Denmark, he had under his rule the entire Scandinavian peninsula and 
Finland, a realm extending from the sound of Elsinore to the Polar sea.; 
and from the river Neva to the frozen seas west of Greenland and 
Iceland. To this period belongs one of the most remarkable and renowned 
of Swedish women, St. Birgitta, a religious mystic and poetico-political 
genius. Birgitta filled eight large volumes with her religious revelations ; 
preached in person against the wickedness of the Swedish court and the 
papal establishment, and protested against the vices of popes and priests. 
She died in Rome in 1373, after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, seeing the 
two great ambitions of her life fulfilled — the pope returning to Rome, 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 25 

from Avignon, and her creation, the order of St. Salvator, sanctioned 
by that potentate. Birgitta was canonized by the pope in 1391. 

The next great name in Swedish history is also that of a woman, 
Queen Margaret, the Semiramis of the North, the daughter and heir of 
King Valdemar of Denmark and the consort of King Hakon of Norway, 
a son of King Magnus Birgersson of Sweden-Norway. When her only 
son and her husband both died and the throne of Sweden was also 
offered her, Margaret became ruler of the three Scandinavian countries 
and Finland. Queen Margaret was a political genius of great foresight. 
Anxious to place the dynasty of the united North firmly within her line 
of descent, she selected her sister's grandson, Eric, duke of Pomerania, 
to be her successor. Eric was proclaimed king in all three countries, 
and at his coronation in the Swedish town of Kalmar, in 1397, the out- 
line of an Act of Union was drawn, which wasi meant to unite the three 
Scandinavian kingdoms forever under one rule. Each country was to 
preserve its constitution, laws and traditions unmolested, but were to 
support each other in times of war. This Act of Union, the pet idea of 
Margaret, was never carried into effect according to legal forms. The 
queen herself, and still more her successors, spoih it entirely by partiality 
to Denmark. Queen Margaret died in 1412 and was as before in name, 
now also in fact, succeeded by King Eric, a cultured and well meaning 
prince but lacking in superior statesmanship. A score of his reign had 
scarcely passed, when in Sweden the movement for separation from 
Denmark-Norway had waxed strong. For most of a hundred years 
yet, the union stood in name, but hardly in anything else. Sweden was 
ruled by a line of uncrowned kings who developed the spirit of patriotism 
and individuality in her people that would brook no union with a foreign 
nation, not even with one kindred in blood. 

The memory of Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson is one of the most hon- 
ored and beloved in Swedish history. Engelbrekt waged the first battle 
against the oppression which foreign intrigues had brought upon his 
country and saved from the peril of slavery the ancient freedom and 
independence of the Swedish people. A small mine owner of Dalecarlia, 
of noble birth, he felt compassion for the misery of the people, who 
suffered greatly through the avidity and cruelty of foreign, mostly Danish 
or German bailiffs, enstalled by King Eric. When complaints to the 
court Were of no avail and the aristocracy of Sweden, bound together in 
class and family interests with that of Denmark, was found unwilling 



26 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

to help, Engelbrekt gathered the sturdy population of Dalecarlia in insur- 
rection against the foreign masters. From castle to castle, from town 
to town went Engelbrekt with his Dalecarlians, ousting the bailiffs. The 
whole of the country woke up to embrace the gospel of liberty, even the 
nobles joining the patriotic forces. At a meeting of the four estates — 
noblemen, ecclesiastics, burghers and yeomen — in Arboga, Engelbrekt was 
made regent of the realm. He died in 1436, two years only after his 
first appearance on the stage of history, killed by the son of a nobleman 
who had been his personal enemy. The champion of patriotism, after 
the death of Engelbrekt, was Karl Knutsson ; but this man of noble birth 
conceived the idea of becoming king of Sweden, something very difficult 
to realize with the strong Danish sympathies yet prevailing among the 
very aristocracy to which he himself belonged. As Karl VIII, he suc- 
ceeded the dethroned Eric, but, although dying in the purple, was broken 
in spirit. He was elected king of Norway also, in 1449, after the brief 
reign of King Christopher, a nephew of King Eric, but in the following 
year lost this kingdom to Christian of Oldenburg, the founder of a new 
dynasty in Denmark. 

After the death of King Karl, Sten Sture was chosen regent of 
Sweden at the riksdag or parliament of Arboga, in 1471. For more than 
half a century Sweden was governed by the uncrowned kings 
of the Sture families, a few years of acknowledged union with Den- 
mark excepted. These regents had not any republican ideals in mind, 
nor were they secretly coveting the crown. Their ambition was simply 
to uphold a strong and firm national government, in the broadly demo- 
cratic spirit of Engelbrekt. This policy gained much strength through 
the high esteem in which the regents were held. Yet their position was 
made difficult through the envy and suspicions of the aristocracy and 
the never-ceasing attacks made by King Christian, and his lineal de- 
scendants and successors. Kings John and Christian II. At his death, 
in 1503, Lord Sten was succeeded by Svante Sture, of a younger branch 
of the same family. Lord Sten was of a sagacious, diplomatic mind. 
Lord Svante was high-stnmg and passionate of nature, but their patri- 
otism was of the same unadulterated kind, and likewise their energy 
of the same cast-iron firmness. Lord Svante died in 1512 and was 
succeeded as regent by his son, Sten Sture, the Younger, a youth of 
barely nineteen. Knighted when only five years old, he early distin- 
guished himself as a warrior, winning fame for his chivalrous spirit and 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 27 

noble character, and like his predecessors becoming the idol of the 
people. And he deserved their idolatry. More resembling his grand- 
father, who was a follower and friend of Engelbrekt, than his sterner 
predecessors, in the sweetness of his disposition, he was as great a war- 
rior as his father, joining with his prowess the sagacity and power of 
self-control of the elder Lord Sten. When a mere youth, he was made 
regent of a country in war, distress and peril. He was called away 
when only twenty-seven, leaving behind the memory of not one evil 
or questionable deed to soil the glory of his fair name, although con- 
tinually placed in trying and dangerous positions of strife, rivalry, envy 
and rebellion. The young Lord Sten had a tender heart for the lowly 
and suffering, never fearing to wring their rights from the oppressors, 
whosoever they were. He took great interest in the pursuits of peace, 
during the intervals allowed by his successful exploits in war. In spite 
of the plague and other contagious diseases, which, with the destruc- 
tion of war ravaged the country, he left it in better condition than he 
received it. In many ways more farseeing than his contemporaries, 
the name of Sten Sture the Younger will live on for centuries as one 
of the most beloved in Swedish history. 

Lord Sten fallen. Christian II of Denmark triumphed for a few 
short years. He promised the Swedish nobles and prelates peace and 
forgiveness, but had all their leaders suddenly seized and accused of 
treason. On November 8, 1520, in an open square in Stockholm, they 
were beheaded under his very eyes, this bloody catastrophe being called 
the Carnage of Stockholm. But a fugitive from Danish captivity, the 
man had already taken up his mission who was to free Sweden from 
foreign oppression and cause the regeneration of the nation politically, 
economically and religiously. This "God's wonderman" was Gustavus 
Vasa. 

Gustavus Ericsson Vasa belonged to a noble family of Unionist 
sympathies. But the Vasa family, which prided itself in being the de- 
scendants of St. Eric and his line and of St. Birgitta and the Folkungs, 
had joined the cause of the patriots during the reigns of the Stures. 
Gustavus Vasa was born May 12, 1496, at Lindholmen in Upland, as 
the son of a counselor of state and a step-sister of Sten Sture the 
Younger's consort. He was educated at the courts of the Stures and as 
a youth distinguished himself in the fights against the Danes. In 1518 
he was carried off to Denmark by King Christian who broke truce and 



28 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

made the hostages his prisoners. He escaped from his prison and after 
some months' delay in Lubeck, he arrived in Sweden just in time to 
learn the news of the Carnage of Stockholm, in which his father was 
beheaded, and how his mother and aunt had been made Danish prison- 
ers. The life of Gustavus Vasa reads like a hero saga, and its most 
adventurous chapters deal with his sojourn in Dalecarlia, where he 
went in disguise, but returned at the head of a peasant army. The story 
of Engelbrekt was repeated. The Danes were driven from the country 
which now hailed the young hero as king. Gustavus Vasa was chosen 
king in June, 1523, and on Midsummer Day made his triumphal entry 
into his capital. The reign of Gustavus I was as long as it was re- 
markable. When it ended with his death, September 29, 1560, he left 
the country he had found in the hands of the enemy and under the 
ban of the Catholic church, free, rejuvenated, made Protestant and with 
the bulk of landed estates taken from the church of Rome to enrich 
the government. Gustavus was a powerful and sagacious ruler. His 
government was often hardly pressed by enemies from without and 
within; the proud and avaricious city of Lubeck, his former ally; the 
crafty Catholic prelates ; the good but stubborn and unruly Dalecarlians ; 
the wild and rebellious people of the province of Smaland. But Gus- 
tavus became the conqueror of them all and went down in Jiistory as 
one of the most remarkable rulers the world has ever known. 

The immediate successors of Gustavus were his sons and grandsons, 
the former more dilettanti on the throne, of strong artistic temperament, 
and, in their ways, erratic. His oldest son, Eric XIV, was dethroned by 
his younger brothers, John and Charles, after nine years full of cruel mis- 
deeds and mistakes. King John III leaned toward Catholicism and his 
son Sigismund, who was of the Polish Jagello family, joined the Catholic 
church when made heir to the Polish throne. Sigismund succeeded his 
father as king of Sweden, but this country feared an alliance with a 
Catholic power. When Sigismund had to choose between his two 
realms, he decided on Poland, and his uncle, Charles IX, who had 
headed the revolt against him, became king of Sweden. King Charles 
was a stern ruler, whose Calvinistic tendencies made him unpopular 
with the new Lutheran church, while his unrelenting revenge, wrought 
on the highborn followers of King Sigismund, made him hateful to 
the aristocracy. King Charles was in love with the poor and lowly, 
in every possible way trying to better their condition. As a statesman 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 29 

he was far-seeing, laying the foundations for an alliance with France 
that was to last for centuries, much to the benefit, politically and cul- 
turally, of the Swedish nation. When Charles IX died in 1611 he was 
succeeded by his elder son, Gustavus II Adolphus, and Sweden was 
now fast approaching the hour in which, through him, it was to fulfill 
its mission among the civilized nations, saving for the world the free- 
dom of religious confession and the liberty of thought and conscience. 
Gustavus Adolphus is the greatest figure of Swedish history, revered 
and beloved as one of the noblest of heroes, a genius in whom the 
qualities of the great statesman and warrior were blended with the 
faith of a man ready to sacrifice his life for the loftiest of causes- 
religious liberty. By his own triumphant deeds and through his school 
of discipline, which turned out men worthy to follow up his work, he 
was destined to bring his country up to the fulfillment of her mission in 
the history of human progress, and to open for her an era of glory 
and political grandeur which her limited resources made it impossible 
to prolong, but which was fruitful of results for her later cultural de- 
velopment. The secret of Sweden's success in solving the stupendous 
conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism, between reaction and 
progress, rested in the fact that this little nation was eminently fit and 
ready to' wage a war for religious liberty. It had been more perfectly 
rejuvenated by the spirit of Protestantism than had, at the time, any 
other country. The medieval state, completed later in Sweden than on 
the continent, also gave way there sooner and more completely than 
elsewhere. The yeomanry, never fully suppressed, had preserved its old 
spirit of independence, fostered and guided by patriotic leaders of the^ 
nobility, with or without a crown. The population was often suflfering, 
hungering, bleeding, but free, indomitable, and devoted to its once more 
hereditary kings of Swedish birth and to their new faith, which had made 
strong in them their old individuality of views and life. 

When Gustavus Adolphus (born Dec. 9, 1594), ascended the throne, 
his country was in the greatest peril and distress and had many lessons 
to learn before entering the universal conflict of the Thirty Years' War. 
From his father Gustavus Adolphus had inherited wars with two deathly 
enemies, the Danes and the Poles. During the peace of two years with 
the former, the Russians had to be fought and conquered. It was in 
the several campaigns with the Poles that the Swedish king attained 
the mastery in warfare that was later to decide the fate of the Protes- 



30 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF :yIIXNESOTA 

tantic world. He completed the supremacy over the Baltic provinces, 
which for centuries had been the goal of Swedish international politics. 
The Thirty Years' war was begun in 1618, but it was not until midsum- 
mer of 1630 that Gustavus Adolphus assumed the leadership over the 
Protestantic forces, having refused to accept as long as the princes of 
Germany and Denmark had an ambition to do so. After they had all 
ignominiously failed, he came to the rescue of a cause which, but for his 
interference, would have been lost utterly. Two years was the dura- 
tion of his victorious progress through Germany. With thirteen thou- 
sand men Gustavus Adolphus landed on the coast of Pomerania. What 
followed belongs to one of the most noted chapters of universal history. 
The unbroken chain of Swedish victories, the noble character of the 
king and the severe discipline upheld among his men, who began and 
ended their battles with prayers and hymns, astounded the world. The 
exalted nobility of Gustavus Adolphus appears all the more striking when 
contrasted with the faithlessness, vanity and cowardice of the con- 
temporary Protestant princes, his victories all the more remarkable be- 
cause the greatest warriors of the age, Tilly, Wallenstein and Pappen- 
heim, were his adversaries. Gustavus Adolphus was received by the 
people of Germany as a liberator, and his memory is blessed by every 
thinking German who admits that the Swedes, Gustavus Adolphus and 
Axel Oxenstierna (his chancellor), completed the work which the Ger- 
mans, Luther and IMelanchton, had begun. 

Christine, the daughter and heir to the throne of Sweden, was 
six years old when she succeeded her father. Her armies stood scat- 
tered through foreign lands, surrounded by enemies and faithless allies. 
Her country was covered with glory, but in direst distress. The most 
remarkable aspect of her father's greatness now was to become appar- 
ent. Gustavus Adolphus had left behind men whom he had educated 
as statesmen and generals, capable of bringing his work to a successful 
end. First among the former was the state chancellor. Axel Oxenstierna, 
friend and adviser of the hero king. He managed to keep the Swedish 
allies together and to establish harmony and unit>- of action between 
the Swedish commanders, supplying funds to carry on the war and 
strengthening the government at home with his courage and his wisdom. 
Oxenstierna was a statesman of considerable power before the death of 
the king; after it he increased in grandeur to carry the burden of unlim- 
ited responsibility placed on his shoulders. 



. SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 31 

x^fter the death of Gustavus Adolphus, the war in Germany lost 
more and more of its original aspect. The cause of Protestantism was 
dropped out of sight for political interests. The battles were, to a great 
extent, and sometimes altogether, fought by foreign troops ; but Swedish 
were the generals and statesmen who led the operations of the armies 
and the diplomatic deliberations. The generals who, after some reverses, 
re-established the success of the Swedish arms, were John Baner and 
Lennart Torstensson, two of the greatest strategists in history. 

The treaty of peace of Westphalia was signed in October, 1648. 
Sweden received, as a reward for her decisive and glorious part in the 
Thirty Years' war, the following possessions: W^est Pomerania, with 
the islands of Rugen and Usedom ; the western part of East Pomerania. 
with the island of Wollin ; the city of Wismar, with surrounding terri- 
tory, and the bishoprics of Bremen and Verden. With these German 
possessions followed three votes at the German Diet. 

Through these glorious conditions of peace, Sweden rose to the 
rank of one of the mightiest of European empires, which held the bal- 
ance of power in Northern Europe. Her possessions made the Baltic 
almost an "inland sea of Sweden," and efforts were soon to be made by 
the king's nephew and Christine's successor, Charles X, and his son 
and grandson, Charles XI, and Charles XII, to make it completely so. 
Sweden exerted a beneficent influence throughout her large possessions, 
which, from a cultural point of view, can hardly be overestimated. Her 
methods oi planting the seeds of culture, by establishing Swedish and 
German universities, and by abolishing serfdom in the conquered lands, 
are worthy of the highest respect. But with her new political grandeur 
Sweden acquired formidable enemies; she had not the resources to 
sustain or defend her great possessions, and the development of the 
mother country was for a time misdirected by dreams of vain glory. 
Queen Christine, the highly gifted and learned but unhappy and poorly 
balanced daughter of Gustavus Adolphus, after a reign of extravagance, 
resigned her throne to her cousin, and went into voluntary exile. 

The house of the Palatinate-Zweibruecken, which with Charles X 
ascended the throne of Sweden, gave to this country two hero kings, 
who with their bloody wars won new glory and new possessions for their 
country. The attempts of Charles X to bring Poland and Denmark to 
utter destruction failed, but he won for Sweden the incomparable advan- 
tage of a natural frontier to the south and west, bv wringing from 



32 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Denmark the southernmost provinces of the Scandinavian peninsula, 
Scania, Halland and Bleking. His son, Charles XI, planned and carried 
through with great sternness a restitution to the crown of an immensity 
of estates granted to the nobility by Gustavus Adolphus and Christine. 
The tragic hero saga of Charles XII is the property of all the world 
through the fame made for him by his own quixotic deeds of warfare 
and the book on his life written by Voltaire. Charles XI had established 
absolute monarchy. The Swedish people had been forced to accept 
absolute power as a salvation from an impending thralldom of oligarchy 
with which the aristocracy had menaced her. In Charles XII it saw 
to what a climax of abuse this power could attain, even in hands which 
were deemed righteous and free from stains. With Charles XII the 
political grandeur and the absolute monarchy of Sweden came to an 
end, although attempts to restore both were to be made. Ulrica Eleo- 
nora succeeded her brother, Charles XII, as the sovereign of Sweden, but 
soon abdicated in favor of her consort, Frederic, Prince of Hesse. 

The real ruler of Sweden, during the first two decades of Frederic's 
reign, was Arvid Horn, one of the greatest of Swedish statesmen. His 
was not the work of building up the government of a strong and influ- 
ential nation, like that of Oxenstierna, nor were his their grand, far- 
reaching views. But his mission was to raise from the dust his bleed- 
ing, down-trodden country, and to reinstate her in the honor and respect, 
not only of herself, but of the world. Count Arvid Bernhard Horn was 
an opportunist, but one of the noblest kind, who by means of peace 
found the only way in which to protect and further the financial and 
cultural development of Sweden. The new form of government intro- 
duced by Horn and others, was that of an aristocratic republic. The 
rights of the monarch, reduced in 1719, were still further reduced in 
1720. He had two votes in the state council and the deciding vote in 
deadlock, but the government was in the hands of the state council 
and the riksdag. The latter decided all questions of taxes and legisla- 
tion, and settled issues of peace and war. The power of the higher 
nobility was forever crushed by the lo&s of their immense possessions. 

King Frederic died 1751 and was succeeded by Adolphus Frederic, 
Prince of Holstein-Gottorp, on his mother's side a descendant of the 
house of Vasa. He was a good-natured and gentle man. He was not 
averse to an increased royal authority, but was not energetic enough to 
exert a controlling influence or to push his claim. His consort was the 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 33 

ambitious and brilliantly gifted Louise Ulrica, the sister of Frederic the 
Great of Prussia. She tried to inspire the king to action. Continually 
occupied by ambitious schemes, she spoiled them herself through lack 
of caution and stability. Adolphus Frederic died suddenly in 1771 and 
was succeeded by his eldest son, Gustavus III. Gustavus was to put an 
end to the party strife that had torn the "Period of Liberty," as the era 
has been called. His own reign belongs properly to it, for he reaped 
the benefit of the seed it had been sowing. The Period of Liberty, 
with all its faults, prime of which had been a weak and vacillating 
foreign policy, made an important chain in the cultural and political 
development of Sweden. Its forms of government made necessary a 
varied and active part in public affairs, educating all classes of officials 
to a high degree of efficiency, and the people itself to self-government. 
The riksdag, through parlimentary activity and importance, developed 
an authority which, although too composite to govern itself, was enabled 
to act as a shield of steel against all abuse of the executive power. The 
national life never gathered a richer harvest of men of genius who 
worked for the progress of their country and for that of the world. 
The heroism of the Swedish people during the preceding period of 
suffering and distress bore fruit in men like Emanuel Swedenborg, the 
inventor, naturalist, philosopher and founder of a new religion ; Charles 
Linnjeus, the founder of modern botany; Andrew Celsius, Junior, the 
inventor of the centigrade thermometer; John Alstromer, the pioneer 
of industry ; John Ihre, the able philologist, and Olof von Dalin, the 
poet, humorist and, with Sven Lagerbring, the first modern historian 
of Sweden. The Period of Liberty was the golden era of Swedish 
science, the latter for the first time attaining universal fame and im- 
portance. 

Gustavus III, with his brilliant endowment, one of the most illustri- 
ous and, in spite of his glaring faults, one of the most beloved of Swed- 
ish monarchs, was the first king since Charles XII who was a native of 
Sweden. For this very reason, and because of his amiable and charming 
disposition, he had won for himself the sympathy of the people even be- 
fore his succession to the throne. This nephew of Frederic the Great 
of Prussia had inherited the genuis, ambition and pride of his gifted 
mother, all enlarged and intensified, and the gentleness and the good- 
nature of his father. He was in every particular a child of his time, 
1—3 



34 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

and "every inch a king." Gustavus III was intensely interested in 
literature and art, and a writer of considerable ability, composing dram- 
atic works of French pattern but with patriotic Swedish subjects. Among 
the poets whom he encouraged were Kellgren, Creutz, Gyllenborg, Oxen- 
stierna, Adlerbeth, the creators of the classical school of Swedish poetry 
and drama, influenced by the contemporary French writers. Above 
them all towers Carl Michael Bellman, who, with his composite and rich 
endowment, became the first great national poet, and of an originality 
as remarkable as that of any genius in the literature of the world. The 
humor introduced into Swedish literature through the contact with the 
songs of the Edda, in Bellman reached its perfection, while his poetry 
in exquisite and triumphant grace of form outrivals that of his classical 
contemporaries. His poems were almost all produced under the inspi- 
ration of the moment, even if later remodeled, and sung by the lute to 
melodies of the day, or of his own composition. Through two successive 
coups in the riksdag, the first made in 1772, the other one in 1789, Gus- 
tavus secured almost absolute monarchial power. But he was not long 
destined to enjoy it, for he fell before the bullet of an assassin, Jacob 
John Anckarstrom, one of the heads of a conspiracy among the nobles. 
This took place at a masked ball at the Royal Opera at Stockholm, 
March 16, 1792, the king expiring ten days later. 

Gustavus I\* Adolphus was a boy of thirteen when his father died, 
his uncle. Prince Charles, being regent until he became of age. The 
reign of this fourth Gustavus was as unhappy for Sweden as had been 
the one of Charles XII, whom the poorly gifted young king tried to 
imitate. Through the last unfortunate war with Russia during Charles 
XII Sweden had lost the Baltic provinces. Now she was to lose Fin- 
land in the same way. The loss was crushing. Finland, since time 
immemorial in intimate relations with Sweden, from which she had 
received a portion of her population, had for six hundred years with her 
mother country formed integral parts of the realm. Sweden had given 
to Finland her religion, constitution, laws, privileges and culture, and in 
return received her fidelity and a host of patriotic men, eminent in the 
affairs of war and peace. Together the Swedes and Finns had fought 
on the battlefields of Europe for the political grandeur of their country 
and the religious liberty of the world. United to Russia, Finland for 
some ninety years preserved her institutions and privileges unmolested, 
and up to date has enjoyed a peaceful development greater perhaps than 



SWEDISH-AAIERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



35 



would have been her share under Swedish rule. But the last decade 
and more has been replete with humiliation and crimes, politically, for 
poor Finland, now apparently doomed to be deprived of her auton'omv 
and made one with Russia. Finland lost, Sweden proper was in great 
danger. Only a revolution could save the country. The republican- 
minded aristocrats were to bring it about. A conspiracy among them 
was formed, George Adlersparre and C. H. Anckarsvard beino- the 
leaders. The army, siding with the revolutionists, the king was made 
captive and forced to abdicate and leave the country. This happened 
March 13, 1809, peace being made with Russia at Fredericshamn Sep- 
tember 17th of that year. The exiled king died in St. Gallen in' 1837. 
The loss and suffering were almost as great as at the death of Charles 
XII, but the era of democracy, peace and prosperity so much closer at 
hand. It was the spirit of aristocratic republicanism which caused the 
timely downfall of absolute monarchy, but it was in its turn destined 
to fall before the spirit of democracy and constitutional government 

When he succeeded his nephew Charles XIII was an aged man 
and died in February, 1818; but his short reign was remarkable in several 
respects. He signed a new constitution formulated in the riksdag of 

1809. Without male issue, Prince Christian August of Augustenborg 
was made heir to the throne. When this prince died quite suddenly, in 

1810, Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, one of the generals of the great 
Napoleon, was selected to become heir and successor of the last king 
of the Vasa line; a selfmade man to occupy one of the oldest thrones 
of Europe. 

Prince Charles Bernadotte, as he was generally called, or Prince Charles 
Johann, received the reins of government from the aged monarch and 
from the very beginning handled them with skill and wisdom being 
statesman and warrior in one. He took as Sweden's representative a 
leadmg part in the war against Napoleon that was to bring about the 
downfall of the French emperor, commanding, as did Prince Charles 
the Northern armies of the allies, and winning the battles of Grossbeeren' 
Dennewitz and Leipzig, in 1813, Napoleon and his armies were defeated 
and pursued by the allies. The closing grand event of the reign of 
Charles XIII was the acquisition of Norway in the form of a union 
with Sweden as a perfectly independent state but with a common king 
and foreign policy. This task was skillfully accomplished bv Prince 
Charles. 



.36 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

In 1818 began in Sweden, with Charles XIV, the rule of the 
house of Bernadotte which, yet unbroken, has brought the country a 
soon completed century of undisturbed peace and marvelous develop- 
ment in every field of human activity. During the rule of this dynasty 
the constitutional monarchy has steadily progressed toward perfect 
democracy, the old riksdag of four estates being changed into a national 
assembly of two chambers, the members obtaining their seats through 
general elections and the cabinet ministers of the king being responsible,, 
at least indirectly to the Riksdag. The parliamentary reform was accom- 
plished in 1866. A movement for general sufifrage has in more recent 
years been victorious, although its complete accomplishment is yet to 
follow. Municipal home rule in Sweden has already been perfected. 

Charles XIV was in 1844 succeeded by his only son, Oscar I, a 
highly gifted and popular monarch, whose sons ruled after him, Charles 
XV succeeding in 1859 and Oscar II in 1872. These kings all did their 
best to arrange and maintain peacefully the somewhat loose and un- 
satisfactory union with Norway, which had been effected chiefly to build 
up prestige and strength against the mighty semi-barbarous power to 
the east of the Baltic. But as Norwegian patriotic endeavor took on 
a more and more pronounced character of absolute isolation and inde- 
pendence, guaranteed by the great political powers of Europe, the union 
was found impossible to maintain. It was dissolved, through Norwegian 
initiative, in the year of 1905. The dissolution of the union was a 
hard blow to the aged monarch, but the last years of King Oscar's life 
were filled with the heart-warming assurances of the redoubled love of 
the Swedish people, who had found the events as taken place inevitable 
and scarcely to be regretted. The oldest son of Oscar II, Gustavus V, 
who succeeded in 1907, has already proved himself to be a firm and 
sagacious ruler, his popularity being steadily on the increase. 

The reign of Charles XIV produced a new line of eminent scientists 
and was the golden age of Swedish literature. Bergman and von Scheele 
of the Gustavian period, who were the founders of modern chemistry, 
were now followed by Berzelius, who remodeled this science and placed 
it on a basis that makes its scope almost without limits. Elias Fries 
devised a new system of botany, while Sven Nilsson founded a new 
science, that of comparative archaeolog\\ P. H. Ling invented the 
Swedish system of gymnastics, while, as historian, E. G. Geijer proved 
the greatest genius of his country. The new romantic movement in 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 37 

literature had its leaders in Atterbom, and Stagnelius. Ling- and Geijer 
were the heads of national Swedish romanticism. In Franzen and 
Wallin, Sweden had two religious poets of the very first rank. More 
famous than any of these was Esaias Tegner, the second great national 
poet of Sweden, whose "Frithiof's Saga" was destined to become the 
most celebrated literary work of all Europe in its day. Romanticism in 
literature had a very important second blossom during the reign of Oscar I 
and his successor. Charles John Ludvig Almquist was a genius of great 
versatility and exceptional endowment. He wrote with equal force in 
all branches of literature and anticipated the ideas of George Sand, Auer- 
bach and Bjornson. John Ludvig Runeberg, the Homer of the North, 
was born in Finland of Swedish parentage. His greatest achievement 
is a chronicle in verse and living pictures of the leading men and events 
in the last war between Sweden and Russia, which so tragically decided 
the fate of Finland. A famous authoress, traveler and thinker of this 
period was Fredrika Bremer, whose works of Swedish homelife were 
widely read throughout the world. Swedish literature encountered a 
period of dilettantism and epigones, during the reign of Charles XV, 
the only true poets being Carl Snoilsky and Victor Rydberg, the latter 
also a notable writer on mythological and historical subjects. During 
the reign of Oscar II, literature has twice been rejuvenated and con- 
tinues its development on broadened paths. The eighties were character- 
ized by a strong realistic movement, the leader of which was August 
Strindberg, a genius of extraordinary endowment. Through the versa- 
tility and power of his talent, he created new forms for the Swedish 
drama, novel, short story and essay. In the wide scope of his genius 
and the originality of his methods, Strindberg is one of the most remark- 
able dramatists that ever lived. Still at sixty very active with his pen, 
he is the most prolific writer of the age. Pre-eminent in the Swedish 
literature of today stand the works of Selma Lagerlot, Verner von 
Heidenstam, Ola Hansson, Gustaf af Geijerstam, Per Hallstrom, Thor 
Hedberg, Oscar Levertin, all fine novelists, almost all good poets, and 
Hedberg and Geijerstam, able dramatists. One of the most interesting 
and supremely gifted poets Sweden has ever had is Gustaf Eroding, 
whose muse was brought to premature silence through his mental 
illness. 

Swedish literature has a long pedigree compared to that of Swedish 
art, which is hardly more than two centuries old. Here will be given 



38 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

a long list of painters who have won considerable continental fame. 
Gustavus Lundberg, Peter Adolph Hall and Alexander Roslin in the 
eighteenth century and J. F. Hockert, Edward Wahlberg, Marcus 
Larsson, Hugo Salmson, August Hagborg, C. G. Hellquist, Julius 
Kronberg, Nils Forsberg, Gustaf Cederstrom, Richard Bergh, Ernest 
Josephson, Anders Zorn, Carl Larsson, Bruno Liljefors and Prince 
Eugene, in the nineteenth century. Great sculptors have been Sergei, 
Fogelberg, Alolin, Hasselberg, with Borjesson and Christian Ericsson, 
o,f those still among the living. 

Swedish composers of note were becoming numerous during the 
reign of Oscar I, although the field in which they chiefly excelled was 
the rather limited one of lyric song. As the composer of "lieder" or 
visor, A. F. Lindblad, an intimate friend of Mendelssohn, occupies a 
revered place in the history of music. Close to him stand Crusell, 
Nordblom and Josephson, while Haefifner, Otto Lindblad, Prince Gus- 
tavus and Gunnar Vennerberg are famous principally for their part 
songs. The greatest of present song composers is Otto Sjogren. The 
cultivators of orchestral or instrumental and operatic composition have 
been comparatively few. Chief among them are Berwald, Norman, 
Soderman, and Hallstrom. In a later contemporary epoch, Alfven, 
Stenhammer, Hallen and Aulin have considerably brightened this 
aspect of cultural development. Swedish song for the first time acquired 
universal fame through Jenny Lind, who has had many successors, but 
no peer. Next came Christine Nilsson, while Sweden in Caroline Ost- 
berg, Louise Michaeli, Olof Strandberg, Alathilda Jungstedt, Oscar and 
Sigrid Arnoldson, Arvid Odman, C. F. Lundquist, Johannes Elmblad, 
Ellen Gulbranson, Louise Pyk, Mathilda Grabow, Salomon Smith, John 
Forsell and Anna Helstrom-Oscar has possessed, or still possesses, singers 
of great eminence. 

Sweden of today oflfers an attractive picture of a country in a 
high degree cultured and prosperous, but no country or period is en- 
titled to reap only benefits or enjoy undisturbed happiness. The cause 
of temperance has made a glorious record, making of the nation that 
was considered very indulgent one of the most temperate and abstinent 
in the world. But beneath a surface generally smiling and serene, for- 
midable religious and social forces are in motion. Sweden has yet to 
solve the labor problem, which in 1909 caused a struggle that has 
subsided only as the result of armistice. The Swedes are proud of their 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 39 

history and the long and unbroken chain of their political and social 
development. They love to see the crown of one of the oldest states 
of Europe carried with dignity as an emblem of their immemorial in- 
dependence. The Swedish king has in reality less power than the presi- 
dent of the United States, but the Swedes have an inherited faculty of 
confidence and loyalty of which their king receives his full share. The 
Swedes become excellent citizens of a republic for this very reason;— 
reverence for, and loyalty to, the institutions and historical development 
of the country in which they dwell. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE FOUNDING OF NEW SWEDEN— 1637-1642. 

By Professor C. T. Odhner, of the Univ'ersity of Lund. 

The first scheme of a Swedish colony in foreign parts was projected, 
as is known, by Willem Usselincx, the founder of the Swedish South 
Sea Company. Usselincx was a merchant of Antwerp, who had become 
acquainted with the mysteries of the Spanish system of trade during a 
tolerably long sojourn in Spain and Portugal, and, as soon as he had 
settled in Amsterdam, sought to avail himself of his experience in the 
interests of Dutch commerce. In 1624 he visited Gothenburg on a jour- 
ney to Dantzic, when he was invited by Gustavus Adolphus to remain 
in Sweden. Praise has been accorded to the liberal and comprehensive 
views constituting the basis of the privileges conceded to the South Sea 
Company, and, without doubt, these do bear advantageous comparison with 
the narrow-minded conceptions at that time prevalent in the world of 
trade, and especially with the Spanish and Dutch methods of colonization. 
We must not forget, however, that the Swedes made a virtue of neces- 
sity in opening their company to other nations, for, indeed, they had 
not the means to establish it independently. Both Gustavus Adolphus 
and Axel Oxenstierna embraced Usselincx's projects with much inter- 
est, and assisted him as far as possible, but were hindered in the execu- 
tion of their schemes by the pecuniary embarrassment and political 
changes which marked the period. Usselincx, too, does not seem to 
have been the right person to superintend the carrying on of such a 
work; he was already advanced in years, and appears, also, always to 
have been a man of words rather than deeds. With his pen, to be sure, 
he labored indefatigably for his darling plan. Besides the collection of 
documents relating to the Southern Company, printed under the name 
of "Argonautica Gustaviana." at Frankfort-on-the-Main, the Swedish 
Office of Archives (Svenska Riksarkivet) contains a mass of prolix 

40 



SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 41 

proposals and reports written by him, sometimes addressed to the chief 
commercial towns of the Kingdom of Sweden, at others directed to 
foreign powers, the Hanseatic cities, France, the States-General, and 
so forth, abounding, indeed, in clever thoughts and brilliant fancies, 
but all unproductive of fruit. In the beginning his attention was be- 
stowed chiefly upon the Spanish possessions in America, so alluring by 
reason of their inexhaustible metallic wealth. It is true, it was pro- 
hibited in the privileges to enter into hostilities with the lands or sub- 
jects of the Spanish king, but when, in 1627, Gustavus Adolphus quar- 
reled with the emperor, that monarch saw a foe, also, in Spain, and 
made no scruple, therefore, the following year, of concluding a treaty 
with the Duke of Buckingham by which he agreed to aid that nobleman 
with sailors and soldiers in an expedition against Jamaica, and as compen- 
sation claimed one-tenth of the revenue of the gold mines. The murder of 
the duke, happening soon after, put an end to the whimsical project. Like 
the designs upon the crowns of Russia and Poland, it remains a witness 
to the adventurous, fantastical character at times conspicuous in the 
actions of the great king. 

It was a singularity of Axel Oxenstierna, that in several instances 
he brought about the execution of plans, which, during the reign of 
Gustavus Adolphus, had been mere projects of the mind ; and it is char- 
acteristic of the statesman, that it was in the midst of the storms of 
war, and at a time of utmost peril and distress, he embarked on so 
equivocal an enterprise as the establishing of a foreign colony. Axel 
Oxenstierna, surely, supplies ample reason for the appellation bestowed 
by Geijer on Gustavus Adolphus, "Sower of Swift- War-chariots." It was 
during a year so full of menace for Sweden as 1635, that the chancellor 
of the kingdom took the first step towards the founding of New Swe- 
den. When, in the spring, he was obliged to retire from southern to 
northern Germany, he passed through France and Holland, for the 
purpose of exciting these nations to a more vigorous support of his 
native country in her prosecution of the German war. In May, 1635, 
he sojourned in the Hague and Amsterdam. On the subject of this 
visit to Holland nothing is known excepting what relates to the political 
transactions. We may, however, feel assured, that a man with Oxen- 
stierna's habits of careful observation, and lively interest in the develop- 
ment of the national economy, did not neglect the opportunity to acquire 
knowledge of effective measures, and to foster friendly relations, likely 



42 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

to result in gain for Sweden. That he did not forget the plans of 
Usselincx, we have proof; for there appears among the Oxenstierna 
papers a query, written by a certain Samuel Blommaert, and dated Ams- 
terdam, June 3, 1635, a few days after the departure of the chancellor 
from Holland, seeking information as to the prospects of a Swedish 
expedition to the coast of Guinea, This Blommaert, a merchant in 
Amsterdam, probably was of the same family as the Thomas Blommaert 
who deserves so much credit for the development of the manufacture 
of bar-iron in Sweden during the reign of Gustavus Adolphus. We 
learn from epistles by which he regularly paid his respects to Oxen- 
stierna that at that time, in Holland, attention was directed chiefly to 
the coast of Guinea and Brazil. For an expedition to the latter country 
affairs seemed peculiarly propitious, since the Dutch had acquired firm 
foothold in the land and had dispossessed the Portuguese, while the 
West India Company had not yet obtained the privilege of the Brazilian 
trade, thus leaving Sweden free to participate in it. 

Another step in advance was taken the following year. During 
the spring of 1636 Axel Oxenstierna received a visit in Wismar from the 
Dutchman Peter Spiring, who was on a journey from Prussia to Hol- 
land. This prudent man, so highly esteemed by the chancellor of the 
kingdom, had regulated and introduced into the Prussian ports a system 
of excise singularly to the satisfaction of the latter, and, since the re- 
linquishment of these harbors in 1635, had been retained by Oxenstierna 
in Swedish service. He departed for Holland with a commission to en- 
deavor to gain subsidies for Sweden from the States-General ; and was, 
moreover, instructed "to observe whether it might not be possible in this 
conjuncture to obtain some service in affairs of commerce and manu- 
factures." What he accomplished in the latter particular is learned 
from his letter to the chancellor. He had held several "conversations" 
with Blommaert concerning the trade with Guinea, and had sought to 
interest in it both Blommaert and other Dutch men-of-business ; he 
also heard from Blommaert of the person best qualified to impart infor- 
mation on these subjects, namely, Peter ]\Iinuit, the leader of the first 
Swedish expedition to the Delaware. 

Peter Minuit (as he himself wrote his name) or Minnewit (as he 
is, perhaps, properly called), was a native of the town of W^esel, in the 
country of Cleves. Probably he left the city of his forefathers when it 
fell into Spanish hands. He went to Holland, and entered the West 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 43 

India Company, and was at last constituted director or governor over 
the colony of New Netherland. This embraced the territory between 
the Hudson and Delaware rivers, on both of which, in 1623, the Com- 
pany possessed a firm foothold. Minuit resided as governor at New 
Amsterdam (now New York City) from 1626 to 1632, and seems to 
have acquired the reputation of being an efficient officer, but finally 
rendered himself obnoxious to a powerful coterie in the Company, who, 
through their intrigues, compelled him to relinquish his office in 1632, 
when he returned to Holland. He was living in his native country in 
1636, when he was brought into notice by Spiring. 

It was purposed, that ]\Iinuit should accompany Spiring, when the 
latter returned, in the summer of 1636, to Sweden, that he might aid 
the authorities with his counsel and superior information. But he was 
prevented from doing so and sent instead a written opinion on the 
subject by Spiring. In order to found a Swedish colony in some foreign 
part of the world, a ship was needed, thought Minuit, of from sixty to 
a hundred "laster" (720-1,200 tons), with a cargo worth 10,000 or 
12,000 "gulden" and a company of twenty or twenty-five men, with 
provisions for a year, and a dozen soldiers to serve as a garrison for 
the place, besides a smaller vessel to remain at the settlement. It was, 
apparently, this proposal, or, at least, one grounded on it, which was read 
in the Swedish Rad September 27, 1636. The thoughts of both Spiring 
and the government were constantly directed, it appears, to the coast 
of Guinea, peculiarly known as "the Gold Coast." 

During the autumn Spiring was again sent out to Holland, now, 
however, in the quality of Swedish resident and "counsellor of the 
finances" ("finansrad"), ennobled under the name of Silfvercron till 
Norsholm. He arrived in Holland at the close of October, 1636, and, in 
accordance with the orders of the government, immediately resumed 
negotiations with Blommaert and Minuit. The former now received a 
commission as Swedish Commissary in Amsterdam, at a yearly salary 
of 1,000 "riksdaler," becoming what, in our days, is called Swedish 
consul-general in Holland. To arrive at some determination about the 
plans for a colony. Spiring invited Blommaert and Minuit to meet him 
in consultation at the Hague at the beginning of the new year. The 
result of this deliberation appears in Spiring's and Blommaert's letter to 
the chancellor. It was discovered on closer examination, that an expedi- 
tion to Guinea would require more capital than they could hope to raise, 



44 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

and they, therefore, resolved to form a Swedish-Dutch Company, which 
should carry on trade with, and establish colonies on, the portions of the 
North American coast not previously taken up by the Dutch or English. 
The cost of the first expedition was estimated at 24,000 Dutch florins, 
half of which sum was to be contributed by Minuit and Blommaert and 
their friends, and the remaining half to be subscribed in Sweden. Spiring 
desired also to take the advice of other men-of-business, but refrained, 
both his counselors urging that the affair ought to be kept profoundly 
secret, lest the West India Company might frustrate the enterprise. 
Minuit was to be the leader of the expedition ; Blommaert the commis- 
sioner for it at Amsterdam. 

After these stipulations had been concluded, IMinuit set out for 
Sweden, provided with the necessary documents, in the beginning of 
February, 1637. The Swedish government embraced the scheme with 
interest, and promised to place two fully equipped vessels at the disposal 
of the company: the contribution of money required from Sweden 
was subscribed by the three Oxenstiernas. Clas Fleming and Peter 
Spiring. Fleming, as well as the chancellor, was a most zealous pro- 
moter of the work: as virtual chief of the admiralty — the head-admiral 
was old and disqualified for service — he obtained the commission to fit 
out both of the ships, and concerted the details of the equipment with 
Blommaert and Minuit. In Holland, Blommaert procured an experienced 
crew, and the cargo required to trade with, and both were sent over to 
Gothenburg in the spring of 1637, when, it was agreed, the expedition 
should set out. But, whether because of delay on the part of the authori- 
ties, or from a prolonged illness of :\Iinuit, it was August before the 
vessels were prepared to leave Stockholm. On the 9th of this month 
the Admiralty issued a passport for the ships "Kalmar Nyckel" and 
"Gripen." the former a large man-of-war, the latter a sloop, both 
belonging to the United Southern and Ship Company. They did not sail 
from Gothenburg till late in the fall. This delay was attended with 
several disadvantageous results: the ship's crew had to be maintained 
during the whole summer, and their wages paid at the expense of the 
Company, and the vessels, after leaving Gothenburg, encountered the 
autumn winds in the North Sea, by which they were roughly handled. 
In December, 1637, they were obliged to put into the Dutch harbor of 
Medemblik to refit and take in fresh provisions. The cost of the expedi- 
tion, already reckoned at about 36,000 florins, was thus necessarily 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 45 

increased ; and the Dutch partners, seeing the prospects of gain diminish, 
began to grumble. They were appeased, however, by Minuit's promising 
on his return, to persuade the Swedish government to assume the addi- 
tional expenditure. Whereupon the voyage was continued, at the close 
of 1637, to the place of destination. 

With respect to Minuit's voyage across the Atlantic we know 
nothing. The date of his arrival, however, in the Delaware has been 
determined, it is believed, with tolerable accuracy. An American investi- 
gator has extracted from the English archives a letter from Jerome 
Hawley, "treasurer" for the English colony in Virginia, to Mr. Secretary 
Windebanke. dated Jamestown, May 8, 1638, mentioning the arrival of 
a Dutch ship, with a commission signed by the Swedish government, 
whose commander had sought the privilege of laying in a cargo of 
tobacco for Sweden free of duty, and although the right was not con- 
ceded, the vessel remained at Jamestown about ten days, "to refresh 
with wood and water." It was also ascertained that both this and another 
vessel accompanying her were destined for the Delaware, "to make a 
plantation, and to plant tobacco." As the Delaware was supposed to be 
part of the English territory, the question was asked, what should be 
done in case the Swedish colonization was successful? From this it was 
concluded that it was Minuit himself who visited Virginia on his journey 
to the Delaware. The inference is, nothwithstanding, incorrect, as is 
discovered in a statement in Blommaert's letter. The vessel that went 
to Jamestown on the occasion indicated, was not the "Kalmar Nyckel," 
with Minuit on board, but the sloop "Gripen," which, after his arrival 
in the Delaware, the commander sent to barter her cargo in Virginia — 
a design, which, nevertheless miscarried. Since it seems then from the 
English document, that the Swedish vessel probably made its appearance 
in Virginia at the close of April, 1638, her arrival in the Delaware must, 
consequently, have occurred in :March, or early in the month of April. 
With this opinion accords, likewise, another document of the same period, 
which shows that the Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam, Willem Kieft, 
was already aware of Minuit's arrival by the 28th of April. 

As to further events upon the Delaware, occurring after Minuit's 
arrival, we gain our information from the letters of Blommaert, which 
it is stated, rely, in turn, on Minuit's own journals, charts and other 
records now lost. It was agreed by Blommaert and the rest of the Dutch 
partners, who were at the same time associates in the West India Com- 



46 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF :\IINNESOTA 

pany, that all collision with that company should be avoided, and Miunit 
seems to have beguiled the Hollanders with the illusion that Florida was 
the goal of his journey. From the very beginning, however, Minuit deter- 
mined to direct his course to the large peninsula jutting out between 
the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, which, from the period of his gov- 
ernorship, he knew to be both fertile and unoccupied, notwithstanding 
the Hollanders laid claim to it. In his journals he seems completely to 
have concealed the protests of the Dutch, for nothing with regard to it 
occurs in Blommaert's letters. On the contrary, this relates that Minuit 
traveled some miles into the country, to discover whether there were any 
Christian people there, and made signals by firing cannon, but no response 
to indicate their presence was received. He had sailed into one of the 
tributaries of the river on the western side, named "Minquas' Kil," and 
entered into negotiations with the chiefs of the neighboring Indian tribes, 
called by the Swedes "Minquesser," belonging to the Iroquois race which 
dispossessed the Delawares, the former owners of the country, who were 
of the Algonquin stock. The Indians agreed to sell Minuit a tract of 
land several days' journey in extent, situated on the west bank of the 
Delaware, and the bargain was solemnly ratified by five competent Indian 
chiefs or Sachems, a written contract being drawn up. 

When Minuit had thus acquired possession of the country, he caused 
the arms of the Queen of Sweden, Kristina, to be erected, and designated 
the new colony New Sweden. The stream he called Elbe, which after- 
wards was known as "Kristinas Kil," and the fort which he began to 
build close to it, with salute of cannon, he named "Kristina." The latter 
was situated about two English miles from the outlet of the Elbe in the 
river Delaware, near where the city of Wilmington now stands, on a 
rising point of land, accessible on one side to large vessels, on the other 
surrounded by bog and sandbanks. Within this stronghold were built 
two loghouses for the abode of those who should compose the garrison, 
and provisions of every kind were stored there for their sustenance, 
including maize and game, deer, wild geese, turkeys, and so forth. 
Probably a little garden, also, was laid out in the fort. At last, when 
all measures had been taken for the welfare of those who were to remain 
in New Sweden, Minuit began preparations for his return voyage. He 
left a portion of the cargo, which he had brought out, to be used in 
barter with the Indians, as well as twenty-three men, under the command 
of Lieutenant Mans Kling, the only Swede who is expressly named as 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 47 

taking part in the first expedition, and Henrik Huyghen, who seems to 
have been Minuit's brother-in-law, or cousin. It was enjoined upon 
these leaders to defend the fortress and carry on traffic with the natives. 
These dealt chiefly in skins, and there still exists a letter of Governor 
Kieft's, dated July 31, 1638, complaining that Minuit, through his liber- 
ality towards the Indians, had drawn to himself the fur trade of the 
Delaware. Since Kieft, in the same letter, mentions ]\Iinuit's departure 
from New Sweden, it is likely that this event occurred during that month. 

Minuit sent the sloop "Gripen" in advance to the West Indies, where 
he hoped to be able to exchange the cargo he brought out from Gothen- 
burg, and afterwards he steered his own course, also, on the "Kalmar 
Nyckel," to the same place — a proceeding censured by Blommaert, on the 
ground that he might very well have put all the residue of his cargo on the 
"Gripen," and himself have taken the shortest homeward route to Sweden, 
Minuit arrived with his vessel at the West Indian island of St. Christopher, 
and succeeded in selling his merchandise there, obtaining in its place 
a load of tobacco. He was already prepared to sail away, when 
he and his captain were invited to pay a visit to a Dutch ship, which 
lay near by, named "The Flying Deer." While the guests happened to 
be on board the foreign vessel, there arose a violent hurricane, "such as 
occur in the West Indies every six or seven years." All the ships in the 
roadstead, to the number of twenty, were driven to sea ; some lost their 
masts, or were otherwise badly damaged, some absolutely foundered. 
Among the latter, in all probability, was "The Flying Deer," where 
Minuit was, for nothing more was seen either of him or of that vessel. 
The "Kalmar Nyckel," on the contrary, had the good fortune to escape, 
and returned to the island, as soon as the storm abated, to search for 
her commander, but, hearing no tidings of him, after a delay of several 
days, pursued her voyage to Sweden. 

Such was the end of the enterprising and gifted man, who, after 
having brought the Dutch settlement on the Hudson to a flourishing 
condition, became the founder of the Swedish colony on the Delaware. 
The suddenness and mysteriousness of his death, together with the 
silence of the Swedish authorities as to that point, have till now kept 
us in ignorance of his ultimate fate. Acrelius even ventured to relate 
that Minuit remained in New Sweden, and "after several years of faith- 
ful service, died at Kristina." This assertion has passed from that his- 
torian to most of the writers on the subject, and, actually, Minuit's 



48 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

biographer, Kapp, has no other declaration to make. That this state- 
ment was certainly incorrect was already discovered by the author 
(Professor C. T. Odhner), in collecting materials for his work on "Queen 
Kristina's Guardians," for Fleming, in a letter of 1639, speaks of the 
necessity of providing a successor for ]\Iinuit at Kristina. But the true 
circumstances of the affair the author could not then learn, and, there- 
fore, confined himself to these expressions : "Minuit seems either to have 
died on his way home, or to have left the Swedish service." The former 
conjecture proves now to have been the true one. 

The Swedish vessel "Kalmar Nyckel," bereft of her commander 
in the way described, returning home encountered another misfortune. 
Once more she was battered by a storm, this time in the North Sea, and 
losing her mast, she was obliged in November, 1638, to retire to a Dutch 
port. Through Blommaert's assiduity she was repaired upon the spot, 
and awaited further orders in Holland. The sloop "Gripen," which had 
been sent by Minuit to the West Indies, cruised a while in the waters 
about Havana, and returned again to New Sweden. Here the vessel 
took in furs, obtained in the interval through traffic with the Indians, 
and then left for Sweden, where she arrived at the close of May, 1639, 
making the voyage from Kristina to Gothenburg in five weeks. 

Minuit's death was an irreparable loss for the newly-formed com- 
pany, since it was not easy to meet with as clever a man as the late 
commander, or one so familiar with American affairs. Regarded from 
the Swedish point of view, however, perhaps the event was not greatly 
to be lamented, as the colonization scheme probably would never have 
acquired so national a completion if he had remained the leader in it. 
Blommaert, at least, in his letter to the chancellor, November 13, 1638, 
declares it was the governor's intention to settle New Sweden with people 
from his native war-wasted land of Cleves. It is quite likely that so 
strong a man as Minuit, particularly had he colonized the territory with 
fellow-countrymen, might have assumed a more independent attitude 
than would have been compatible with the interests of Sweden. 

Concerning the prosecution of the enterprise, thus auspiciously 
begun, the Swedish partners in the company were from the first agreed. 
They viewed the question under its national and political aspect, and 
conceived the great importance the colony, in such relations, might 
eventually possess. For the future Clas Fleming became special leader 
of the work in Sweden, a position v/hich he, by this time, likewise held 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 49 

in virttie of his office as president of the College of Commerce (Kommers- 
kollegium), conferred upon him in November, 1637. He and his secretary 
in the college, Johan Beyer, henceforth evinced great interest in the 
young Swedish colony, which may even be said to have been the 
first and principal work of that body. Their earliest care was to 
provide a successor to Minuit, and such a person, Fleming believed, 
was found in the Dutch captain, Cornells van Vliet, who had been engaged 
for several years in the Swedish service. It is said in this man's com- 
mission from the Admiralty, dated at Vesteras, January 26, 1639, that 
Her Majesty, Queen Kristina, had resolved not only to support, but 
also energetically to prosecute, the expedition to "the Indies," and, full 
information of the nature of that region not having as yet been furnished 
(Minuit not having had time to compose a regular account of his 
journey), it was the Royal pleasure that van Vliet should set out on the 
"Kalmar Nyckel" for Virginia, and the territory which had been taken 
possession of in the King's name by Minuit, and there gain accurate 
acquaintance with the condition of the country and its inhabitants, it being 
the royal purpose to people the land with Swedes. Measures, also, were 
taken to procure a sufficient number of colonists. At first it was sought 
to accomplish this through suasion, but the people entertained a repug- 
nance to the long sea voyage to the remote and heathen land. Letters 
of the administration to the governors of the provinces of Elfsborg and 
Vermland affirm, that no one spontaneously offered to accompany Captain 
van Vliet. The governm.ent ordered these officers, therefore, to lay hands 
on such married soldiers as had either evaded service or committed 
some other offense, and transport them, with their wives and children, 
to New Sweden, with the promise to bring them home again within two 
years — to do this, however, "justly and discreetly," that no riot might 
ensue. It was still more difficult, in times so grievous, to obtain funds 
for the expedition. The thought, at length, was entertained of allowing 
the Ship and Southern Company to embark their capital in the new 
association, granting them the same monopoly of the tobacco trade. 
Blommaert and the rest of the Dutch partners were solicited to make a 
new contribution of money. 

The Dutch partners of the company were, however", by no means so 
ready as the Swedes to proceed with the undertaking. They had regarded 
it chiefly as a matter of business, and they now complained that it had 
1—4 



50 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

not been conducted in a businesslike manner, but, on the contrary, had 
grown to so great a size that it had ceased to maintain itself. Affairs 
had been managed, it was alleged, less in the interest of the partners 
than in that of the Swedish crown, and, therefore, the Swedish govern- 
ment should assume a part of the cost. Besides, Minuit was gone, and, 
with him, also the confidence with which his personal supervision inspired 
the Dutchmen. The directors of the West India Company went so far, 
at last, as actually to lament Minuit's so-called intrusion within their 
premises, and, inasmuch as the Dutch partners in the Swedish Company 
were now, at the same time, members of the West India Company, these 
suffered the reproaches of their countrymen for trammeling them with 
the Swedes — "they had, although members of the same college, done 
them more harm than good." Especially did Blommaert encounter many 
"desagrements" in consequence of his participating in this affair, and he 
was, therefore, less willing than before to further the scheme. It was, 
probably, to remove his countrymen's repugnance to the enterprise, that 
he sought to lead it into another channel, and directed attention to the 
advantageousness of the situation of New Sweden for privateering 
against the Spaniards. The Spanish fleets of Mexico, and their rich 
cargoes, at that period excited the cupidity of many persons, the more 
so since the Dutch had the good fortune, in 1628, to intercept the great 
Spanish silver fleet. New Sweden, thought Blommaert, supplied an 
excellent point of departure, and place of refuge, for vessels disposed 
to watch for the Spaniards, as they sailed out from Havana. But the 
Swedish gentlemen would not hearken to these proposals, and pursued 
plans of trade and colonization as their chief aim. 

Although the leading members of the company in Sweden thus 
resolved to send a fresh expedition to New Sweden as soon as possible, 
considerable delay occurred before it was ready to set forth, arising 
from various hindrances attending its preparation. With means advanced 
by Spiring and Blommaert, the "Kalmar Nyckel" was equipped in Hol- 
land for a second journey, and provided with another crew. The vessel 
was first to go to Gothenburg, to unload and take on board the Swedish 
emigrants, but her departure was postponed in order to finish her repairs, 
as well as in consequence of a commission imposed on Spiring, namely, 
the lying in wait for and arrest of a certain imperial ambassador, who 
was expected to go by sea to Denmark. The person intended must have 
been Count Kurtz, who, in the spring of 1639, went by sea from Ham- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 51 

burg to Denmark and Poland, for the purpose of entering into political 
engagements with those kingdoms. As, however, Kurtz embarked in a 
Danish man-of-war, the plan could not be carried out. At length the 
"Kalmar Nyckel" left for Gothenburg, where she arrived in June, 1639, 
and delivered the cargo of tobacco (12,000 pounds) with which she 
still was laden. Here the vessel lay for fourteen weeks, a detention 
caused by the negligence of the new commander and by the difficulty of 
procuring emigrants, a body of whom, however, were at last assembled 
and placed on board, together with cattle, horses, swine,, implements 
for farming, and so forth. The office of Governor at Kristina was 
assigned to Lieutenant Peter Hollender, like the former commander, 
probably, as his name indicates, also a Dutchman, and this was, very 
likely, the expedition which Torkillus, the first Swedish clergyman in 
New Sweden, accompanied to America. 

The "Kalmar Nyckel" left Gothenburg in the beginning of the 
autumn of 1639, but had not proceeded farther than the German Ocean 
when she sprang a leak and was obliged to lay up for repairs at Medem- 
blik. Twice the ship put out to sea, but both times returned in conse- 
quence of fresh damages, which entailed still further delay and expendi- 
ture of means. At length the ship's crew declared themselves unwilling 
to sail on such a vessel, and under such a captain as van Vliet. The 
latter was accused not only of carelessness, but also of dishonesty in 
victualing the ship, and when Blommaert instituted an examination of 
the matter, both charges were substantiated. For these reasons van Vliet 
was removed from his command by Spiring, and another person, named 
Pouwel Jansen, probably also a Dutchman, was appointed in his stead. 
Likewise, a new crew was hired. On setting forth the ship had to 
endure once more the contretemps of a violent easterly storm, which on 
this occasion produced a shoal in the Zuider Zee, rendering it temporarily 
unmanageable, but finally all obstacles were overcome, and on the seventh 
of February, 1640, the "Kalmar Nyckel" sailed from the Texel. 

From this time ceases the correspondence between Blommaert and 
the chancellor, and the former is named no more, either because he went 
with the expedition to America, or for some other reason. He died, 
however, or else left the Swedish service, not long afterwards. When 
the Swedish gentlemen resolved to carry on the work of colonization in 
the interest of their sovereign, they naturally became solicitous to elimi- 
nate the Dutch influence from the company. In the minutes of the cham- 



52 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

ber of accounts for February 20, 1641, it is said, the government had 
resolved to buy out the Holland partners, "since they are a hindrance 
to us," with 18,000 gulden of the public funds. The same day a letter 
was sent to Spiring, with the injunction to pay the above sum to the 
Dutch partners from the Dutch subsidies on condition they abandoned 
all further claims. This, without doubt, was done, and thus the new 
colony fell entirely into Swedish hands. At the same time the govern- 
ment granted the new company ("our incorporated Southern Company") 
a monopoly of the tobacco trade between Sweden, Finland and Ingerman- 
land. 

Although the Swedish government thus desired to achieve inde- 
pendency of the Dutch in conducting their plans of colonization, they 
nevertheless had no objection to the settlement on their territory of 
people of that industrious race, provided they subjected themselves to 
Swedish rule. A number of such persons from the province of Utrecht 
addressed themselves to Spiring and then sent an agent to Stockholm to 
obtain a grant from the Swedish government. The promoters of this 
scheme were certain influential members of the West India Company. 
It was a Herr van der Horst who first entered into negotiation with the 
Swedish authorities, but the grant was transferred to one Henrik Hoog- 
kamer and his "associates." These obtained from the Swedish govern- 
ment, January 24, 1640, a so-called "octroy und privilegium" for founding 
a new colony in New Sweden. Simultaneously with the charter, the 
government granted a passport for the ship "Freedenburg," which was to 
transport the Dutch settlers to New Sweden as well as a commission for 
a certain Jost van Bogardt, as Swedish agent in New Sweden. This 
Bogardt was likewise the leader of the Dutch expedition; he arrived 
with it in New Sweden November 2, 1640, and settled with his people 
three or four Swedish miles below Kristina. 

In the meanwhile, after a short voyage, the second Swedish expedi- 
tion had arrived on the seventeenth of April, 1640, at Kristina. Here 
they found the colony brought out by Minuit in good condition. The 
arrival of the fresh colony undoubtedly strengthened the Swedish settle- 
ment, although the new immigrants do not seem to have been numerous, 
or of the best description. The commander, Peter Hollender, complains 
in his letters to the chancellor that the colonists were too few in number 
and little skilled in husbandry and handicraft — "no more stupid, indiffer- 
ent people are to be found in all Sweden, than those are now here," says 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 53 

he. They had brought with them, too, an insufficient supply of domestic 
animals, it seems. The new chief, therefore, did not harmonize with those 
who till then had directed the affairs of the colony, namely, Kling- and 
Huygen, This lack of unity displayed itself immediately after the arrival 
of the second expedition, with respect to the question, what conduct 
should be observed in relation to the Hollanders stationed at Fort Nassau. 
The former commanders desired to employ force, in case the Dutch 
laid obstacles in the way of the Swedish settlers, while the new governor 
preferred, in accordance wath his instructions, to proceed gently as long 
as possible. When Hollender was pursuing his way up the river in the 
sloop, in passing Fort Nassau he was saluted with three shots, but made 
no reply to this act of hostility, and quietly continued his course. He 
purchased land of the Indians higher up, and erected three pillars about 
eight or nine Swedish miles above Kristina for a boundary; a fourth 
was set up afterwards, below the fort. Returning from his journey on 
April 25, he lay at anchor in front of Fort Nassau, and sent thither a 
letter, to which he received no answer, shot being once more discharged 
after the Swedish sloop. New protests, also, were subsequently issued 
by the Dutch, who proclaimed themselves proprietors of the whole terri- 
tory along the river. No further collisions with the Dutch are mentioned 
in the letters from Hollender. Probably, the respectable political position 
of Sweden, and the good relations then existing between Sweden and 
Holland, conduced to protect the Swedish colony against the notoriously 
inconsiderate West India Company. Less regard was shown by the 
latter towards the English. When a party of sixty persons from New 
England established themselves, in 1641, on the eastern shore of the 
Delaware, they were attacked with violence by the Dutch and disturbed in 
their trade with the Indians. The Swedes hastened to buy once more from 
the savages the land where the English had settled, which comprised a 
tract about twelve German miles in length from Cape May, on the east side 
of the river. On the western side they had, in 1642, already purchased 
the whole territory from Cape Henlopen to Trenton Falls, a distance of 
thirty German miles, with the right to extend their limits towards the 
interior at their pleasure. 

What further transpired in the Swedish colony during the governor- 
ship of Peter Hollender, or from April, 1640, till February, 1643, is not 
known. The only statement we can find regarding this period is one 
drawn from American sources, to the effect that a general sickness 



54 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

prevailed in 1642 among both Dutch and Swedes. We are better in- 
formed as to the measures taken in the mother country for strengthening 
the settlement. In May, 1640, the "Kalmar Nyckel" started on her 
homeward voyage, and arrived at Gothenburg by the following July. 
Lieutenant Mans Kling accompanied the vessel to Sweden, as we dis- 
cover from his commission, dated September 26. He was instructed to 
recruit among the Bergslagen people "for the West Indies or Virginia, 
where New Sweden is situated," a colony founded, it is affirmed, "that 
the inhabitants of Sweden may profit by the wealth of that land, so rich 
in valuable merchandise, as well as increase their traffic with foreign 
nations, and become experts at sea." Particularly should he seek to enlist 
the "roaming Finns" ("drift-finnar"), who were wont to live free of 
charge in the houses of the inhabitants of the Swedish forests. We find 
the former Lieutenant-Colonel Johan Printz acting in the same commis- 
sion the following year in northern Finland, having been dismissed the 
service shortly before in consequence of a dishonorable capitulation, and so 
returned from fighting in Germany. It was probably the people collected 
by Kling who were sent off in May, 1641, on this ship "Charitas," from 
Stockholm to Gothenburg, to be transferred from thence to New Sweden. 
The list comprises thirty-two persons, of whom four were criminals, but 
the remainder either servants in the employment of the Company, or else 
to better their fortunes. It is likely they were met in Gothenburg by sev- 
eral emigrants from western Sweden, for the governor in Vermland and 
Dal received orders that the forest-destroying Finns, whom he had cap- 
tured and imprisoned, provided they could not give security, should be held 
in readiness to be sent to America and the governor in the province of 
Skaraborg was by letter directed to permit a trooper, condemned for 
having broken into the cloister garden at Varnhem, to choose between the 
punishment of hanging and embarking for New Sweden. The expedition 
this time consisted of the old well-tried "Kalmar Nyckel" and the "Chari- 
tas," and its cost was computed at somewhat over 35,000 florins. Nothing 
more is known of the third expedition, which sailed, however, for New 
Sweden in 1641. 

The persons interested, as already stated, had long since entertained 
the thought of appropriating the whole or a part of the funds of the 
Southern Ship Company for the expenses of the next sea voyage, and 
the furtherance of their colonization scheme. This plan, which had 
been first proposed by Spiring, was executed during Spiring's visit to 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 55 

Sweden in the summer of 1642. Several consultations were held with 
him in the Riksrad, the "Rakningekammar," and privately, the partners 
in the ship company being invited to attend. The result was the forma- 
tion of a new company under the name of the West India or American 
Company. Its capital was fixed at 36,000 riksdaler; the old Southern 
Ship Company entered into it with half that sum, or 18,000 riksdaler ; 
the crown contributed one-sixth, or 6.000 riksdaler; the chancelor, Spir- 
ing, and the heirs of the great chancelor of justice each one-twelfth, and 
the treasurer and Clas Fleming, each one twenty-fourth. A transfer 
was made to the new company of the monopoly of the tobacco trade. 
Finally, it was decided that the crown should pay the salaries of a 
governor for the colony and of other necessary civil and military ofificers. 
Printz was commissioned governor and detailed instructions for his 
guidance were issued. On August 30th, a certain "budget for the gov- 
ernment in New Sweden" was adopted, mentioning a governor with a 
salary of 800 riksdaler, a lieutenant, a sergeant, a corporal, a gunner, 
a trumpeter, and a drummer, besides twenty-four private soldiers, as 
well as, in the civil list, a preacher, a clerk, a surgeon, a provost, and a 
hangman. In Amsterdam and Gothenburg special factors were appointed 
on behalf of the company, and the chief direction of the whole was 
entrusted to Clas Fleming, who was assisted in his charge by Beyer. On 
Fleming's death, in 1644, no head-director was named as his successor, 
and in this fact, combined with the remissness of the crown, when the 
colony stood in need of money, or other help, we are to seek the main 
cause of the feebleness and tardy growth of the settlement. Unlike the 
former regency. Queen Kristina's government does not seem to have 
appreciated the importance of the American colonization scheme : "this," 
wrote Per Brahe, in 1643, to Printz, "in our judgment, truly is great, and 
greater than many esteem it." 

W^ith regard to the preparations for the fourth and greatest expedi- 
tion under the command of Printz, we have little to communicate, except 
that the governors in the forest and mining provinces received orders, 
as before, to send to New Sweden Finns, who had been guilty of having 
destroyed the woods, selecting those who were "strong and able-bodied." 
The expedition, which was composed of the ships "Fama" and "Svanen," 
left Gothenburg November 1, 1642, and arrived at Christina February 
15, 1643. The clergyman, Johan Campanius, has given a short descrip- 
tion of the voyage, inserted by his grandson in the well-known book about 



56 SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

New Sweden. With this period the history of the colony begins, in 
general, to assume a clearer aspect, notwithstanding the elucidation of the 
subject is not yet complete, owing to the fact that several important 
documents are lost. Among these, for example, is the first official report 
sent by Governor Printz from New Sweden, for the year 1643. We 
possess only his private letter to the chancelor, dated Kristina, April 14, 
1643. "It is a remarkably fine land." says he, speaking of that country, 
"with all the excellent qualities a man can possibly desire on earth." — 
[Translated from the dissertation of Prof. C. T. Odhncr, of the Uni- 
versity of Lund.] 

The Delaware Society of Colonial Dames of America having been 
satisfied of the exact date when the Swedes first landed concluded to 
erect a monument on the site and unveil it with a memorial celebration. 
This was done in March, 1903, in Wilmington, the speaker of the day 
being Chief Justice Charles B. Love, a descendant of the Delaware 
Swedes. The exercises were in two parts — those conducted at the unveil- 
ing of the monument, and those held in the parish house of Old Swedes 
Church. When the members of the society and guests arrived at The 
Rocks, in the yard of the i^.IcCullough Iron Company, they found that 
the high tide in the Christiana came up to the base of the pile, and lacked 
only about thirty feet of licking the monument itself. The place where 
the monument stands has been called "The most historic quarter of an 
acre on the American continent." From the Wilmington Nezvs of March 
29, 1903, we glean the following of Chief Justice Love's speech : 

"From this first landing of the Swedes, March 29, 1638, up to the 
capture of New Sweden by the Dutch, September 16, 1655, a period of 
about seventeen and one-half years, there were nine other authorized 
Swedish expeditions to the Christiana. The second was made by the 
Key of Kalmar, which reached the Christiana on April 17, 1640, bring- 
ing Reorus Torkillus, the first Swedish pastor. The third expedition 
came in 1641 in the ships Key of Kalmar and Charitas. The fourth 
expedition reached the Christiana February 15, 1643, in the ships Fame 
and Golden Shark, under the command of Captain Johan Printz. With 
this company came Campanius, the historian. The fifth company arrived 
in the spring of 1644. The sixth in the Golden Shark, October 1, 1646. 
Captain Stefifan Willemson commanded the seventh, in the ship Svanen. 
It sailed from Gothenburg September 25, 1647. The ship Kattan, or Cat, 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 57 

sailed from Sweden July 3, 1649, with the eighth load of colonists. She 
was wrecked at Porto Rico, West Indies, and never reached the Dela- 
ware. The ninth expedition brought Johan Rising, the last Swedish 
governor. It sailed from Gothenburg, February 2, 1654. The tenth 
came in the ship Golden Shark, which arrived off the coast September 
12, 1654, but by mistake, or by the treachery of the pilot, entered the 
Hudson and was seized and held by Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of 
Manhattan. 

"At first emigrants came slowly. It required much persuasion to 
get them to leave their homes in Sweden and Finland ; but as the stories 
of the wonderful beauty, fertility and genial climate of the new world 
were brought back with the returning vessels on each trip, the desire to 
emigrate took hold of the people. On some occasions hundreds of 
families, who had sold their farms and business, were left behind because 
there was no room for them on the ships. 

"During the seventeen and one-half years of Swedish rule there were 
four governors — Peter Minuit, from 1638 to 1641 ; Peter Hollandare, 
from 1641 to 1643; Johan Printz, from 1643 to 1654; Johan Rising, 
from 1654 to September 15, 1655. Peter Minuit, the first governor, 
and the founder of the colony, was a native of Holland. He had been 
governor of the New Netherlands from 1624 to 1633. He was a man 
of marked character and great integrity, and was removed from the 
governorship of Manhattan because he opposed the schemes of the 
Dutch Patroons, who sought to divert the revenues of the colony into 
their own pockets instead of the treasury of the company. After Kis 
removal, he offered his services to Sweden. He became the acknowledged 
leader of the colonial movements and served his adopted country with 
great fidelity. By some authorities he is buried in Old Swedes' Church- 
yard, just behind us ; by others he died and was buried in England. His 
grave is unmarked and unknown. 

"Peter Hollandare, the second governor, followed the policy of 
Minuit, and but little is known of his administration. The third gov- 
ernor. Captain Johan Printz, was one of the noted characters of the new 
world. Bold, scheming, rough and arbitrary, he ruled the colony with 
a strong will and iron hand. He sought to remove the seat of govern- 
ment from Christina to Tinicum Island, just above Chester. Here he 
built for himself a spacious house and called it Printz Hall. Ample 
grounds were laid out, orchards were planted, and the surrounding lands 



58 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

laid out in walks and beautified. Here he assumed a semi-regal state and 
demanded implicit obedience to his official will. Within eight months 
after his arrival he built two forts — one at Tinicum, which was called 
Gothenburg, the other at the mouth of Salem creek, which took the name 
of Elfsborg. New settlements and trading posts were established along 
the Delaware, and the colony reached its highest point of power. 

"The Dutch at Manhattan now became troublesome, and threatened 
to subdue the Swedes. Governor Printz sent urgent messages to Sweden 
asking for help. Weary of delay and apprehensive of trouble, he aban- 
doned the colony in 1652, leaving his son-in-law, Johan Pappegoia, deputy 
governor. Printz had become unpopular by a too rigid authority and 
never returned. History tells us that Printz weighed 400 pounds, had 
a strong harsh voice and took three drinks a day. He was coarse and 
profane in his language, and was a terror to friend and foe alike. 

"Johan Rising, the fourth and last Swedish governor, on his arrival, 
found the Dutch arming for the capture of the colony. He resorted to 
harsh measures. Fort Casimir (now Newspring Castle) was taken by him 
from the Dutch, and the Swedish rule asserted rigorously over all the 
inhabitants. The Dutch were thoroughly aroused, and in August, 1655, a 
squadron of seven ships and transports, with between 600 and 700 men, 
sailed from New Amsterdam and arrived in the Delaware August 30th. 
On the 5th of September this fleet sailed up the Christiana, landed its 
forces and invested the Swedish fort. After much parleying the fort 
surrendered September 15, and New Sweden passed under the Dutch 
control and ceased to exist as a separate colony. 

"Governor Rising left the country and returned to Sweden with 
such of the inhabitants as wished to accompany him. Rising was perhaps 
the ablest of all the governors. He displayed much vigor and ability in 
his administration, but was so crippled for means and overmatched by 
the New Netherlands that his term of office was turbulent and unfor- 
tunate. 

"The first colonists in 1638 consisted almost entirely of Swedes and 
Finns, comprising farmers, traders, mechanics and soldiers. Their pur- 
pose at first was to trade with the Indians and by barter to gather sub- 
stance, rather than to cultivate the soil and utilize the forests. Subse- 
quent expeditions brought out many Germans and Dutch. Gradually 
the colonists became farmers, and looked to their flocks, crops and forests 
for sustenance and for wealth. Hardships, sickness and disease, at times 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 59 

brought the people to the very verge of despair. The incoming of 
colonists, however, from time to time, revived their spirits and New 
Sweden became a permanent colony, prosperous, thrifty and happy. When 
captured by the Dutch in 1655, they numbered only about 700. 

"The New World received no better people than the Swedes and 
Finns on the Delaware. Bancroft says of them: 'Free from ambition, 
ignorant of the ideas wh'ch were convulsing the English mind, it was 
only as Protestants that they shared the impulses of the age. They 
cherished the calmed earnestness of religious feeling. They reverenced 
the bonds of family, and the purity of moral ; their children, under every 
disadvantage of w^ant of teachers and of Swedish books, were well in- 
structed.' 

"Ferris in his 'Original Settlements on the Delaware' pays them 
this tribute : 'They were industrious, peaceable, of strong religious feel- 
ings, warm domestic attachments, and great veneration for the father- 
land, the manners and customs of which they retained for more than a 
centur}'. Widely different from the restless, unsettled Anglo-Saxon 
race, the Swedes had strong local attachments. Once comfortably set- 
tled, they aspired to no change but the improvement of their possessions. 
Fond of home and its quiet enjoyments, they manifested little ambition 
either of wealth or of distinction. They sought the comfort.? rather 
than the luxuries of life, its essentials more than the superfluities?. Some 
of their humble dwellings in the vicinity of Wilmington are yet standing 
in which generation after generation contentedly resided until by mixture 
with other races their national character was lost.' 

"It is remarkable that, during the whole period of the Swedish do- 
minion on the Delaware, there is no evidence that a single human being 
lost his life in hostile contest, either between the Swedes and their 
European neighbor or between them and the Indians. 

"The conduct of the Swedish colonists toward the Indians bordering 
on their settlement, was not only consonant with the requirements of 
truth and justice, but with the dictates of a sound and enlightened policy, 
as was found by happy experience. Their honesty, their kindness, their 
friendly deportment, disposed the Indians to peace, and on one occasion 
at least prevented a war when war would probably have been fatal to 
the colony. The maintenance of such an intercourse so won their affec- 
tions, that they used to call the Swedes their 'own people.' Campanius, 
speaking of the natives says : 'They are very courteous in their behav- 



6o SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

ior and fond of obliging the Swedes. They take great pains to help 
them, and to prevent any harm happening to them.' In this happy state 
the colonists found a rich reward for their kind and noble conduct toward 
the poor, unlettered natives. Instead of a life of terror and alarm — of 
war and all its horrors — the honest Swede could eat his bread in peace, 
and after the toils of the day, lay down his head in quietness, fearless 
of a midnight attack; undisturbed by dreams of the tomahawk and 
scalping knife. 

"How different was the lot of the New England colonies. Long 
and bloody wars, fearful loss of life, anxiety and bitter suffering on one 
hand, and whole nations of people exterminated. The just and liberal 
conduct of the Pilgrim Fathers of our state is more honorable to their 
memory than all the triumphs of the diplomatists over a simple, unlettered 
people, or all the laurels of the warrior w'on in a contest with the original 
and rightful owners of the land, in order to w^est from them their 
country and their homes. 

"An interesting proof of the affectionate attachments of the In- 
dians for their old friends, the Swedes, subsequent to the conquest of 
their colony, is related by Campanius. In the spring of 1656, six months 
after the conquest, a Swedish ship called the Mercurius arrived in the 
Delaware with a fresh supply of colonists. The Dutch commander at 
Fort Casimir forbade the ship to pass, whereupon a party of the Indians, 
probably assured that the Dutch would not venture to fire at the ship 
while they were aboard, joined the Swedish crew and safely conducted 
the ship by the fort and into the Christiana. 

"The Dutch colony at Manhattan w^as founded for commercial pur- 
poses, for barter with the natives and for the accumulation of wealth. 
The colonists were simply traders. The English colony at Jamestown, 
\^irginia, consisted largely of adventurers, impelled by the grasping spirit 
of the Anglo-Saxon for land. The Pilgrims at Plymouth, the Scotch- 
Irish settlements on the Atlantic coast range ; the Catholics in Mary- 
land, and to some extent the Quakers in Pennsylvania, sought in the 
new world a refuge from the persecution in the old which had become 
unbearable. 

"Not so with the Swedish settlements on the Delaware. They were 
planned and executed by the government of Sweden to provide homes 
in the new world for the oppressed of every land, to civilize the Indians, 
to promote commercial intercourse between the people and to extend the 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 6i 

influence of Christianity, of which Sweden was then the great exponent 
and defender. While in extent and population it was the least of any 
of the colonies, yet in the scope, liberality, and humanity of its design, 
New Sweden stood at the head of the American colonies. 

"It is most fitting, therefore, that this monument should be erected 
at the place where the Swedes first landed, and that it should be carved 
out of the very rock first pressed by their feet. The modern effort to 
mark historic spots in our colonial history has found no more appropri- 
ate expression than in the work of this day. The rock upon which the 
colony first stood, the old church rebuilt some years after their landing, 
and the old graveyard, full of the colonists and their descendants, are still 
here, and are mute witnesses of the event. Your monument points back 
in the centuries gone to one memorable day, and will ever emphasize an 
epochal event in the history of our little state. It will stand as a re- 
minder of a most significant fact and as a tribute to the generous thought 
and wise action of your society in thus marking and preserving this site 
for generations to come." 



CHAPTER IV. 
SWEDISH IMPRESS ON AMERICAN CULTURE. 

By culture is meant a nation's progress ; its elevation from a lower 
standpoint to a higher one, and this in all directions. We talk about 
higher culture, thereby laying exclusive stress upon the higher educa- 
tion ; but we will eliminate that phase of the question. Here we 
wish to include all that contributes to the ennobling of a nation, 
or people. Consequently the history of a people's culture will become 
the history of its civilization. Ever>- nation has its own history of cul- 
ture. So also has the United States of America; and the purpose of 
these lines will be to show what the Swedes have contributed toward its 
formation. 

This American nation is composed of contributions from the princi- 
pal nationalities of the world, and a considerable portion is Swedish. 
But Sweden is a small country in comparison with many others, and 
has but few inhabitants when compared with the great nations of the 
earth. It may therefore seem rather presumptuous to ask, what this 
little nationality has brought to this land, contributed to the nation's 
elevation or, by itself, developed since its arrival here. One can easily 
find special characteristic traits conspicuously American, and the Ameri- 
can character may be likened to a metal mixed or amalgamated with 
many others, but retaining for itself its own peculiar and original sound. 
What is the nature and tone the Swedish metal has given to this amal- 
gamation ? 

The different spheres in which culture can be traced are : the purely 
material, the political, the spiritual or intellectual, and the religious or 
ecclesiastical. Let us, therefore, seek the footprints of the Swedes in 
these diflferent spheres. The material work is formative, and includes 
the breaking of the sod and cultivation of the ground ; the building of 
cities and manufactories, and the inventions. Along these lines Swedish 
industry and physical strength has made itself felt. The Swedish immi- 

62 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 63 

gration really commenced about sixty years ago, with Erik Janson's 
immigration to Bishop Hill, Illinois, and there we also find the first 
contribution to the nation's development from a purely Swedish source. 
Individual Swedes had arrived in this country before this and settled 
here and there; but they had disappeared in the great mass. The 
Swedes who arrived in Delaware several hundred years ago had also 
become absorbed into the American race. At Bishop Hill the wilderness 
was soon transformed into productive fields. On the little Edwards river 
were built flour and saw mills. From the blacksmith shop was heard the 
steady ring of the anvil ; from the houses the humming sound of the 
spinning wheel ; brick was made and lumber sawed, and soon there ap- 
peared a beautiful little village, with park and shaded streets, which 
today stands a monument to Swedish industry and enterprise. The Swed- 
ish community stopped in its development, which necessarily goes to 
show that no exclusively Swedish community can exist in America. 
During this time hundreds and thousands of Sweden's sons and daughters 
had arrived in dififerent parts of this great republic. Agile Skaningar, 
tenacious Smalandingar were met by lively Goteborgare, powerful and 
solemn Norrlandingar and Dalkarlar, all to develop energy and power 
that was afterward to be amalgamated into the American nationality. 

Some nationalities have come to this country to speculate in aflfairs 
of questionable advantage to the whole ; the Swedes have come to work, 
chiefly to establish homes, and these homes have been, and are, a blessing 
to the nation. Today we find Swedes that are owners, foremen or labor- 
ers at most of the industrial establishments of this nation. And wher- 
ever they are they have proved them.selves to be honest and reliable, and 
such people cannot do otherwise than exercise a purifying influence 
upon the masses. In Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and other 
states evidences are to be abundantly found of Swedish industry in the 
development of their prairies and forests into productive farms. 

What John Ericsson accomplished for this nation in her critical 
hour, has not, in its entirety received due acknowledgment, but we can 
by right and with good reason ask, "What would have become of this 
nation without his help at the opportune moment?" For a long time 
John Ericsson stood alone as a Swede who had the honor of distinguish- 
ing himself in the higher spheres of mechanical genius, but now we 
have many, who, by an exhibition of superior skill in engineering, have 
made valuable contributions to the nation's development. These are not, 



64 SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

perhaps, as well known because of the inherent modesty and unselfish- 
ness — characteristic traits of our nationality. We have a number of 
Swedish engineers who have superintended important works, as for in- 
stance the Texas-Pacific railroad bridge over the Alchafalgu river, the 
foundation of which lies 120 feet under the water surface, and by the 
same engineer the Washington bridge over the Harlem river in New 
York City, which cost $2,700,000. Many others could be mentioned 
who occupy high positions as civil engineers in different industrial enter- 
prises. All of these mentioned and referred to received their education 
in Sweden. They have made their impression directly upon the develop- 
ment of this country and brought their knowledge, skill and genius 
from the fatherland and infused it into the life of their adopted country. 

We will now look into the political arena. The Swedes, as a rule, 
do not shine as politicians ; that is, what is generally understood as 
politicians in this country. In this direction the Swedes have not dis- 
tinguished themselves, which is greatly to their credit. But this has not 
prevented them from playing an influential part in the politics of the 
country. We desire to hold forth what our countrymen have done for 
the best interests of their adopted country, and, therefore, we rejoice 
that we can find no political bosses among them. On the contrary, we 
have many individual men who have been elevated to high and responsible 
positions, and they have exerted a healthy influence upon the body politic. 
A man like ex-congressman John Lind, of Alinnesota, who always stood 
for the true interests of the people and zealously opposed the money 
power, we may well feel proud of. The lamented governor John A. 
Johnson was another example of sterling honesty and high order of 
executive ability who won an enviable national reputation. 

Of old the Swedes have been a free people, therefore the much 
praised freedom in America is not foreign to them; they would not be 
satisfied with less. With Americans liberty is felt and looked upon as 
a political necessity ; with the Swedes, on the contrary, it is a character- 
istic trait grounded in their moral nature. What the Americans have 
inherited of freedom, the Swedes have owned from time out of mind. 

When the Civil war broke out, the slavery question stood forth as a 
hideous evil to the Swedes, and for that reason they went to the war 
in large numbers, to battle for mankind's inheritance — freedom — although 
at that time the number of Swedes in the United States did not exceed 
18,000. 



SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF ^IINNESOTA 65 

It seems to come natural for a Swede to be a Republican, but this 
does not come from any selfish motive, but for the right and good that 
party seems to stand for. That they are not party slaves is evidenced 
by the fact that they will transfer their support to another party if they 
can be shown that thereby greater justice and humanity can be promoted. 
The nation can therefore depend upon the Swedish nationality for all 
measures that tend to advance the true greatness of the country. 

The many educational institutions, some of them of high order, have 
originated from the needs of the various religious denominations. Each 
one owning its own theological educational institution, if it have none 
of its own it has a branch in some American institution so that the 
energy of the Swedish Americans along the lines of a higher education 
have been in a religious direction. 

A well known author, upon this subject, well says: "When we con- 
template the Swedish-American chronicles, written and unwritten, the 
eye meets at once this trait as the most prominent with our people — I 
mean this anxiety concerning the moral and religious life. jMany who 
are prone to criticise, consider this religious activity as altogether too 
one-sided and therefore of little consequence. But one then forgets the 
importance for the future ; one does not take into consideration that this 
moral activity constitutes the preparation of a field upon which after- 
wards will grow and thrive intellectual harvests, and one also forgets the 
solidity and purity that thus becomes the Swedish-American character as 
it is formed of many different elements. There stand a thousand Swedish 
temples on American soil, erected by Swedish hands for Swedish hearts. 
They testify to the faith that dwells in thousands of breasts and this 
faith, what does it say? That with these American Northmen exists an 
inner conscious life, that is expanding more and more, and craves more 
light, more power, more room. Thoughts are generated, feelings are 
born, new views arise." 

We Swedes are here to stay, and do not have to apologize for being 
here. Our influence has already made itself felt, and will, no doubt, be 
more powerfully felt hereafter. May we remain faithful to our inher- 
ited principles concerning honesty and faithfulness. We do not believe 
that we can make the best impress upon the national life by stubbornly 
attempting to retain our Swedishness. Far from it! The various pieces 
of metal must be fused together if they shall truly unite; therefore in 
1—5 



66 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

time the Swedish element will become absorbed in the American national- 
ity. But our generation need not trouble their minds about this. It 
will come about anyway. It is the law of national evolution. The ex- 
odus and immigration of peoples have existed in all ages and will con- 
tinue to exist. The immigration to America is not solitary in the history 
of the world; it is only a repetition of what has happened before and 
a prefigure of what will continue to happen as long as the world exists. 
If the American nation ever reaches its completeness, may it then be 
found that there are traits that can be traced to a Swedish origin. And 
may they be noble and beautiful ! 

SWEDISH CHARACTERISTICS. 

Less than sixty years ago the Swedish colonists in Minnesota were 
living contented and happy in their northern homes noted for romantic 
landscapes, beauty of interchanging mountains, valley, lake and river 
scenery unsurpassed, with a climate to correspond. A religious awak- 
ening swept over them. The inner cravings of the soul demanded a 
higher spiritual life than, at that time, was to be found in the ritualistic 
forms of the state church. This resulted in a decision to seek a new 
home in the wilds of the new world. We desire to impress upon the 
descendants of these colonists the grand and rich inheritance that is 
theirs — a threefold one. First, that in their veins flows the blood of a 
valiant and heroic race, whose glorious history shines with refulgent 
rays upon the pages of ancient and modern history in the old world ; 
secondly, the self-sacrificing example of practical Christian love so beauti- 
fully exemplified by their more immediate ancestors. Thirdly, and not the 
least, the grand heritage of American citizenship. All of which should 
stimulate their ambition to be worthy descendants of so illustrious a 
lineage. 



In his splendid book, "Sweden and the Swedes," Ex-United States 
Minister to Sweden, W. W. Thomas, gives the following appreciation 
of our nationality: "The predominant characteristic of the Swedes is 
kindliness. 'Do you find my people kindly,' asked the king of an Amer- 
ican traveler ; and if he had searched the whole English language through, 
he could not have found a w^ord which would better express the leading 
trait of his people. They are kind to each other ; kind to their wives and 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 67 

children ; kind to the stranger within their gates ; kind to their domestic 
animals, and kind to any little wild beast or bird which chance may send 
in their way. Their politeness, their hospitality, their courtesy, all their 
good qualities, spring from one source— their kind hearts ; and their faults 
—if any they have— and they are few, indeed— all have the same root. 
At a farmhouse, the cattle, and horses, and sheep approach you with 
a neighborly confidence, and it is easy to see that they expect to be pat- 
ted, not kicked. The hens do not scamper away as if they anticipated 
every boy would throw a stone at them, the geese are too happy to hiss 
you, and the cat purrs on the sunny windowsill in blissful security. 
The Swedes are constantly manifesting their kindness in polite and gentle 
acts. They are the politest of nations. I have heard them called the 
Frenchmen of the North ; but their politeness is more hearty and genu- 
ine than that of the Latin race. You always feel there are sincerity, and 
honesty, and a warm heart back of it all. In the street the gentlemen 
all raise their hats, not only to the ladies, but to each other; and you can- 
not walk with a Swede for half a block but what he will take you by 
the hand and parting, lift his hat, and say, 'Thanks for your good com- 
pany.' As you drive along a country road, every girl you meet drops 
a courtesy, every boy doffs his hat, and, should you toss a penny to 
any one of a lot of urchins, the whole juvenile troop rushes up and shakes 
hands with you. If you sneeze, it is exactly as Longfellow says, every- 
body cries : 'God bless you.' " 

In writing of the Swedes as immigrants to this country the author 
says: "Wherever in this broad land the Swedes fix their habitations, 
they are noted for their honest}^ and industry, their economy and thrift.' 
Our Swedish settlers live within their means, buy no faster than they 
can pay, and do not run into debt. No other foreign race learn our 
language so quickly, or speak it so correctly and free from foreign 
accent, and none, I think, so speedily embrace our American ideas, and 
become so thoroughly assimilated with us, and so completely American- 
ized. If you seek for the Swedes, you will scarcely find them in our 
jails or penitentiaries; you will meet them engaged in peaceful, indus- 
trial pursuits in our workshops and factories, or, most largely, in the 
backwoods and upon the prairies of the great West, where, by honest 
toil, they have converted millions of acres of wild land into fertile farms 
and happy homes. 

"Our Swedish fellow-citizens do not try to subvert our institutions. 



68 SWEDISH-AMERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

There are no Swedish anarchists or dynamite bomb-throwers. Order- 
loving, as well as liberty-loving, God-fearing, and law-abiding, the 
Swede seeks to know the law of the land; not to break, but to keep it. 
And when rebellion threatened the nation's life, the Swedes were found 
fighting for freedom and union in this land of their adoption ; yes, fight- 
ing as gallantly for the starry banner of America as their ancestors 
fought for the yellow cross of Old Sweden. 

"The Swede also brings with him, from his old home, the fear of 
God, the reverence for the Bible, the respect for sacred things, and the 
strict observance of the Sabbath ; and it is my belief that no immigrants 
of today, in both faith and works, so closely resemble the sturdy Pil- 
grim Fathers of New England as the Swedes. Let us never forget that 
there is no people to whom we owe a warmer welcome, none that make 
better citizens of our great republic, than the sons and daughters of 
Sweden." 



CHAPTER V. 
MINNESOTA AS A STATE. 

The state of Minnesota derives its name from the principal tribu- 
tary of the Mississippi within its boundaries. The name is a compound 
Dakota word. This nation call the Missouri, Minneshoshay (muddy 
water) and this stream, ^Minnesota. Nicollet remarks: "The adjective 
Sotah is of difficult translation. The Canadians translated it by a pretty 
equivalent word brouille, perhaps more properly rendered into English 
by blear as for instance Minisotah, blear-water. I have entered upon 
this explanation because the word really means neither clear nor turbid, 
its true meaning, being readily found, in the Sioux expression Ishta- 
sota, blear-eyed." 

Like the Garden of Eden, the state is encircled by rivers and lakes. 
There is "water everywhere ;" and in view of this characteristic, Nicol- 
let called the country "Undine." To naiads and all water spirits, it 
would be a perfect paradise. The surface of the country is dotted with 
lakes, and in some regions it is impossible to travel five miles without 
meeting a beautiful expanse of water. Many of these lakes are linked 
together by small and clear rivulets, while others are isolated. Their 
configuration is varied and picturesque; some are large, with precipit- 
ous shores, and contain wooded islands, others are approached by gentle, 
grassy slopes. Their bottoms are paved with agates, cornelians and 
other beautiful quartz pebbles. The water is generally clear and sweet, 
and north of the watershed is as cool and refreshing during the heats 
of summer as the water of springs or wells. All the lakes abound with 
various species of fish, of a quality and flavor greatly superior to those 
of the streams of the Middle or Western States. 

The country also contains a number of "ha-ha," as the Dakotas 
call the waterfalls. As the state of New York shares with Canada 
the sublimest cataract, so Minnesota has a joint ownership in a pic- 
turesque fall. It is a bout a mile and half above the mouth of Pigeon 

69 



70 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

river. The perpendicular descent is sixty feet, after which the river 
chafes its way for many yards. About one mile below the west end of 
Grand Portage, the old depot of the Northwest Company^ are the great 
cascades of Pigeon river. "The scenery at the cascades presents a singu- 
lar combination of wild grandeur and picturesque beauty, with an aspect 
the most dreary and desolate imaginable. In the distance of four 
hundred yards, the river falls one hundred and forty-four feet. The fall 
is a series of cascades through a narrow gorge, with perpendicular walls, 
varying from forty to one hundred and twenty feet, on both sides of the 
river." The streams in the northeast county of Minnesota nearly all 
come into Lake Superior with a leap. Half a mile from the lake, the 
Kawimbash hurries through perpendicular walls of stone, seventy-five 
feet in height, and at last pitches down a height of eighteen or twenty 
feet. 

On Kettle river, a tributary of the St. Croix, there are also inter- 
esting rapids and falls. The falls of St. Croix, thirty miles above Still- 
water and near Taylor's Falls, elicit the admiration of the traveler. 
Between lofty walls of trap rock the river rushes, at first with great 
velocity, forming a succession of whirlpools, until it makes a sudden 
bend, then glides along placidly, reflecting in its deep waters the dark 
image of the columnar masses, as they rise towering above each other 
to the height of a hundred to a hundred and seventy feet. On the 
Vermillion river, which is a western tributary of the Mississippi, oppo- 
site the St. Croix, there are picturesque falls, about a mile from Hast- 
ings. 

A ride of less than five minutes from Fort Snelling, in the direc- 
tion of St. Anthony, brings the tourist to a waterfall that makes a life- 
time impression. 

"Stars in the silent night 

Might be enchained, 

Birds in their passing flight 

Be long detained, 

And by this scene entrancing. 

Angels might roam. 

Or make their home, 

Hearing, in waters dancing, 

'Mid spray and foam, 
Minnehaha !" 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 71 

These, within a brief period, have obtained a world-wide reputation, 
from the fact that "a certain one of our poets" has given the name of 
Minne-ha-ha to the wife of Hiawatha. Longfellow, in his vocabulary, 
says: "Minne-ha-ha— Laughing-water ; a waterfall of a stream running 
into the Mississippi, between Fort Snelling and the Falls of St. An- 
thony." All waterfalls, in the Dakota tongue, are called Ha-ha, never 
Minne-ha-ha. The "h" has a guttural sound, and the word is applied 
because of the curling or laughing of the waters. The verb i-ha means 
to curl the mouth ; secondarily "to laugh," because of the curling motion 
of the mouth in laughter. The noise of Ha-ha is called by the Dakotas 
I-ha because of its resemblance to laughter. A small rivulet, the outlet 
of Lake Harriet and Calhoun, gently gliding over the blufif into an 
amphitheatre, forms this graceful waterfall. It has but little of "the 
cataract's thunder." Niagara symbolizes the sublime; St. Anthony, the 
picturesque; Minne-ha-ha the beautiful. The fall is about sixty feet, 
presenting a parabolic curve, which drops, without the least deviation, 
until it has reached its lower levels, when the stream goes on its way 
rejoicing, curling along in laughing, childish glee at the graceful feat 
it has performed in bounding over the precipice. 

Five miles above this embodiment of beauty, are the more preten- 
tious Falls of St. Anthony. This fall was named by Hennepin, a Fran- 
ciscan of the Recollet order. He saw it while returning from Mille 
Lacs in the month of July, 1680, and named it after his patron Saint, 
Anthony of Padua. In the last edition of his travels, the adventurous 
father says, "the navigation is interrupted by a fall, which I called St. 
Anthony of Padua's in gratitude for the favors done me by the Almighty, 
through the intercession of that great saint, whom we had chosen patron 
and protector of all our enterprises. This fall is forty or fift>' feet high, 
divided in the middle by a rocky island of pyramidal form." As Hen- 
nepin was passing the falls, in company with a party of buffalo hunters, 
he perceived a Dakota up in an oak opposite the great fall weeping 
bitterly, with a well dressed beaver robe, whitened inside, and trimmed 
with porcupine quills, which he was offering as a sacrifice to the falls, 
which is in itself admirable and frightful. "I heard him, while shed- 
ding copious tears say, as he spoke to the great cataract : 'Thou who 
art a spirit, grant that our nation may pass here quietly without acci- 
dent, may kill buffalo in abundance, conquer our enemies, and bring in 



72 SWEDISH-AAIERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

slaves, some of whom we will put to death before thee ; the Fox Indians 
have killed our- kindred, grant that we may avenge them.' " 

During the generations that have elapsed since this description was 
penned, many changes have taken place in the appearance of the falls. 
The small island, about forty feet broad, which is now some distance 
in front of the falls, was probably once in its midst. The geological 
character of the bed of the river is such, that an undermining process 
is constantly at work. The upper stratum is limestone, with many large 
crevices, and about fifteen feet in thickness. Beneath is the sandstone, 
which is so soft, that it cannot resist the wearing of the rapid waters. 
It is more than probable that in an age long passed, the falls were once 
in the vicinity of Fort Snelling. In the course of a few years they have 
traveled many feet. 

Minnesota, as a state, ought to have, and has, the highest aspirations. 
The birthplace of many rivers, flowing north, south, east and west; 
with a varied scenery, the prairie, the forest, the lofty bluff, the placid 
lake, and the laughing waterfall; the summit of the central valley of 
North America; with an atmosphere peculiarly dry and bracing, it must 
be attractive to immigrants from northern Europe. It has also been 
proven that the aims of her citizens correspond with the elevated natural 
position and advantage. The cattle upon a thousand hills now occupy 
the old pasture grounds of the elk and bison; schoolhouses crown the 
eminences but lately adorned with burial scaffolds; and the state has 
become the birthplace of not only majestic rivers, but of great men. 



John Lind, fourteenth governor of the state of Minnesota, was 
born in Kanna parish, province of Smaland, Sweden, March 25, 1854. 
He came to the United States with his parents, when thirteen years of 
age, and has been a prominent lawyer; a representative in Congress 
(1887-93 and 1903-5) and governor of Minnesota (from January 2, 
1899, to January 7, 1901). Born in the humblest station, with a com- 
paratively limited education, he raised himself by his talents and indus- 
try to a controlling position in the afifairs of the state. To John Lind 
belongs the unique distinction of being the first to break through the 
Republican ranks and assert a new regime, and he has thus made an 
enduring mark for himself in the political history of Minnesota. 

There is in every strong life a certain personal force and power, 
a tenacity of purpose and a solidity of character, which is clearly indi- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 73 

viclual. This sort of personality is possessed by John Lind. John 
Lind's forefathers were farmers, freemen, owning the soil which they 
tilled. Family tradition says they had lived there from years immemor- 
ial. The older men on both sides had always been identified with the 
administration of communal affairs and as peace officers. They were 
neither wealthy nor poor, and their record for character was without 
stain. They were proud of their standing, and resented an insult with 
a promptitude that commanded respect. This was particularly true 
of his maternal grandfather, Jonas Jonason, who was both "deacon" 
and peace officer. In the latter capacity, it is said, that his judgments 
were often enforced with his good right arm. 

John's father was born April 11, 1826, and died August 11, 1895. 
His mother was born April 26, 1831, and is now living at Winthrop, 
Sibley county, Minnesota, at the ripe age of seventy-nine, a well-pre- 
served woman, intellectually and physically. Mrs. Lind had the full 
religious training given to the parish children. In this country (1883) 
she joined the Methodist church, of which she is a consistent and 
devout member, and can defend her faith with the best. She has always 
been a great reader, both of English and her own language. She pos- 
sesses a vigorous and logical mind ; is a fine conversationalist, and 
withal, an excellent farmer. She directs the work and management of 
her four hundred eighty-acre farm, with as much judgment and enthusi- 
asm as any of her neighbors. At the end of each year she generously 
distributes the surplus of her annual income among her grandchildren. 
This brave and noble woman has, beyond question, transmitted some of 
her traits to her distinguished son. 

In 1867, incited by the stories of American opportunities, the family 
emigrated to the United States, and, following a popular tide, settled 
in Goodhue county, Minnesota. When the family located there, John 
was thirteen years old. Soon afterwards he began work in a sawmill, 
in which he lost his left hand by an accident. This was probably not 
altogether a misfortune; for it compelled an immediate abandonment 
of manual labor for intellectual pursuits and thus directed his destiny 
to higher spheres of action. At once he entered a public school, and by 
assiduous attention to his opportunities, at the early age of sixteen was 
granted a certificate entitling him to teach. His first venture was in 
Sibley county, where he taught public school one year, then removing 
to New Ulm. By hard work and study in a IcK;al law office and the 



74 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

exercise of close economy, he was able to enter the university of the 
state in 1875. Here he continued a studious career for one year, when 
he was able to pass the examination required to be admitted to the bar 
as a lawyer, in 1877. He had a limited practice, and in the meantime 
he was elected superintendent of the schools of Brown county, which 
position he held for two years. In 1881 he was appointed by President 
Garfield receiver of the United States land office at Tracy, Lyon county. 
But by no means did he abandon his law practice in New Ulm, for he 
was devoted to his profession. His legal ability now began to be recog- 
nized in that portion of the state and he won increasing reputation by 
his success in some important cases against the railroad companies. He 
was very active in politics at this period, as an energetic worker in the 
Republican party. 

In 1886 Mr. Lind was nominated for congress as a Republican in 
the Second District of Minnesota, succeeding Hon. James B. Wakefield. 
The district at that time was very large, embracing twenty counties, in 
fact, it included all of southwestern Minnesota. The political campaign 
was a very active one, being the year in which Dr. A. A. Ames, of Min- 
neapolis, a Democrat, came near defeating A. R. McGill, Republican, 
for governor. Lind made a very active canvass and was elected by a 
majority of 9,648. His Democratic competitor was A. H. Bullis, of 
Faribault county. 

Two years later, in 1888, he was again nominated, and his opponent 
(Democrat) was Hon. Morton S. Wilkinson, formerly Republican 
United States senator from Minnesota. Lind was elected by a majority 
of 9,219 over Wilkinson. Again in 1890 Lind was nominated as the 
Republican candidate for Congress. His opponent was Gen. James H. 
Baker, of Blue Earth county. Gen. Baker was nominated as the Alliance 
candidate, and received the votes of the Democratic party, who made 
no nomination. Lind received 20,788 votes ; Baker, 20,306, leaving Lind 
a plurality of 482. The Prohibitionists also had a ticket in the field. Ira 
B. Reynolds was their candidate, who received 1,146 votes. This left 
Lind a minority candidate by 333. Gen. Baker made a thorough can- 
vass on the issue of "tariff revision," and planted that seed of tariff 
reform in the district which culminated in the overthrow of James T. 
McCleary on the "stand-pat" issues of high tariff seventeen years later. 
All the other Congressional districts in the state elected Democratic 
Congressmen that year, 1890, on the same issue. Thus the Republican 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 75 

strength was greatly impaired and the doctrine of tariff revision strongly 
affirmed in Minnesota. Mr. Lind's career of six years in Congress was 
marked by great activity, especially in reform measures of public im- 
portance. He took a very active interest in Indian affairs, and secured 
the passage of a bill establishing seven Indian schools in various parts 
of the country, one of which was at Pipestone, in his own district. He 
secured the payment of many longstanding claims for Indian depreda- 
tions to citizens in his district. One of the most important acts of legis- 
lation which he secured was the passage of a law for the reorganization 
of the Federal courts in Minnesota, even now recognized as the "Lind 
Bill." Under this law Federal courts are now held at Minneapolis, Man- 
kato, Winona and Fergus Falls, as well as in St. Paul. This save liti- 
gants long journeys and great expense. He was also a strenuous fighter 
for the integrity and enforcement of the Interstate Commerce act, to pre- 
vent discriminations in favor of persons or places. He earnestly advo- 
cated the automatic couples and powerbrake bill and other like devices, 
which proved so effectual in protecting human life. In another bill he 
succeeded in having Minneapolis made a port of entry. He became an 
acknowledged authority on all questions relating to the public lands. He 
resisted a tariff on lumber in the economical interests of his constituents, 
and because he said that it committed the government to the destruction 
of its own forests rather than those of other people. He favored free 
sugar, free materials for binding twine, and was for free twine. He 
thus came to the positions held by General Baker in his celebrated can- 
vass in 1890. Mr Lind voluntarily retired as a candidate for Congress, 
a very high compliment for his efficient services as a Republican Con- 
in 1892, absolutely refusing to enter the race. The convention paid him 
gressman, in resolutions nominating his successor. Lind, as a member of 
Congress, had avowed and defended Republican principles. All his life. 
until the free silver agitation, he was an ardent and enthusiastic Repub- 
lican, and for six years was the faithful representative of that party in 
Congress. 

The silver question became more and more one of exciting interest 
during Mr. Lind's last term as a Republican in Congress. As late as 1896 
he was still characterized as a "free silver" Republican. S. M. Owen 
had been nomninated by the Populists in 1894 as their candidate for 
governor, and the canvass which followed blazed the way for coming 
events On September 12, 1896, Mr. Lind addressed his celebrated letter 



76 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

on the silver issue to the IMinneapolis pubHc. By the terms of this letter, 
it would appear that now Mr. Lind had embraced the general political 
ideas entertained by the Populists. July 16, 1896, he was unanimously 
nominated for governor by the Populist and Free Silver Convention, 
and was subsequentlv endorsed by the Democratic party. His Republican 
opponent was the Hon. David ]\I. Clough, of IMinneapolis. The election 
demonstrated that Lind was a popular candidate, as he reduced the Re- 
publican majority to but little over three thousand. Of this Populistic 
convention, Hon. Frank A. Day was a conspicuous member. Hon. C. 
A. Towne, of Duluth, made the leading speech, in which he affirmed that 
he had been a Republican till a quarter to two o'clock, June 18, 1896. 
Hon. Frank M. Nye was also one of the orators of the occasion. Free 
silver was the argent bridge on which each of them, except Nye, finally 
passed over to the Democratic party. 

In 1898, the war with Spain was proclaimed, and among the Min- 
nesota volunteers who offered their services to the United States gov- 
ernment, thereby abandoning a fine law practice, was John Lind. Though 
with but one arm, he gallantly offered his services to Governor Clough, 
and was made quarter-master of the Twelfth regiment, commanded by 
Colonel Bobleter, of New Ulm. He was so commissioned with the rank 
of first lieutenant. Lieutenant Lind at once became popular with the 
regiment, by his arduous labors, keeping the men well equipped and 
provisioned. The regiment was encamped at Camp Thomas and Chicka- 
mauga National Park. During this period of military activity. Lieuten- 
and Lind was unanimously nominated, October 28, 1898, by the People's, 
Silver Republican and Democratic organizations for governor. After his 
defeat in 1896, he had resolved never again to enter the field of politics, 
but so unanimous and pressing was the call, that he put aside his desire 
for retirement and accepted the summons, subject to the limitations of 
his military service. 

After the surrender of the Spanish forces, at Santiago, and the 
return of the IMinnesota regiment to the state. Mr. Lind was able to 
make but two short speeches in some of the more important places of the 
state. Wherever he went he was cordially and enthusiastically received. 
The money standard of the country, it was claimed, was being subverted, 
and he was the chosen candidate of the new financial ideas. All the 
forces of the so-called reform were ranged under the banner of Popu- 
lism. Everywhere he was met with the most enthusiastic popular de- 



SWEDISH-AAIERICANS OF MINNESOTA yy 

monstrations of personal admiration, confidence and sympathy. It was 
charged that Air. Lind was nominated to catch the Scandinavian vote; 
but such a charge gave a low estimate of the character of the man, his 
convictions, and his devoted patriotism. His Republican opponent was 
Wilham Henry Eustis of ^Minneapolis. Eustis was a man of intellectual 
ability, of high culture, imbued with the true spirit of civic patriotism, 
and with a public and private career of unblemished manhood. He was 
indeed a typical American citizen, and stood in the forefront of his 
party. Governor Clough was singularly bitter against Eustis, in a way 
which was ungenerous, in a matter growing out of William D. Wash- 
burn's election to a seat in the United States Senate. Clough's obligations 
to his party should have constrained him to support the Republican candi- 
date by every principle of duty and honor. But even with this defection, 
it is doubtful if Lind would not have been elected as his personal popu- 
larity was great, and he was on the popular side in the financial questions, 
then uppermost in the public mind. However, it was generally held by 
the Republicans that the Swede nationality defeated Eustis. Lind's ma- 
jority above the aggregate vote for the four other candidates, was 
11,398. 

The official returns of the election were as follows: William H. 
Eustis, Republican, 111,796 votes; John Lind, Democrat and People's, 
131,980; George W. Higgins, Prohibition, 5,299; William B. Hammond, 
Socialist-Labor, 1,685; Lionel C. Long, Midroad-Populist, 1,802. 

By the favor and insistence of his friends Mr. Lind was three 
times a candidate for governor: first, in 1896, when Hon. David M. 
Clough defeated him by a meager majority; second, in 1898, when he 
was elected over Hon. William H. Eustis; and last, in 1900, when Hon. 
Samuel R. Van Sant defeated him by a plurality of 2,254 votes. By 
this time the silver question had lost its potency, and by so much Lind's 
strength was diminished. 

It should be again noted that Mr. Lind was the first to break through 
the continuous possession of power by the Republican party of Minne- 
sota, which had been vigorously maintained for a period of quite forty 
years. Vermont is the only other state that affords so long an un- 
broken period of Republican supremacy. The causes which underlie 
its final defeat are found in the changed conditions of dominating public 
questions, to which the Republicans were slow to respond. The truth 
of history also requires us to note that a contributary cause was the 



78 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Scandinavian vote which adhered to those of their own blood even 
against their fideHty to their political principles. 

Governor Lind's messages, in 1899 and 1901, are of historic interest 
because of their influence upon the state's public policy and legislation, 
especially concerning taxation and the regulation of railroads and of state 
institutions. Through his influence upon legislation, and likewise through 
the board of equalization appointed by him, the state made marked 
progress in the assessment and taxation of mines, railroads, municipal 
franchise corporations and foreign corporations. The railroad and ware- 
house commission appointed by him reduced freight rates. His recom- 
mendation for a state board of control over state institutions bore sub- 
stantial results. 

After retiring from the executive office, Governor Lind returned to 
the practice of his profession at his home in New Ulm. Here he soon 
gained a lucrative business and was speedily identified with the most 
important local interests of his home town. In 1901 he removed to the 
city of Minneapolis, where he at once engaged in his chosen profession. 
the law, in company with Andreas Ueland. 

Governor Lind has delivered many public addresses on a wide variety 
of subjects, which illustrate his general information and interpret his 
views on economic and public questions. Like many other public men, 
he has been very careless in preserving copies and has left them to the 
mercv of the ephemeral newspaper. Governor Lind is not distinguished 
for elegant speeches to which he made but little pretense, but they are 
forceful, clear, cogent and convincing. He is evidently a man given to 
close thinking. His manner of speaking is from nature herself, and not 
a result of cultivation or art. When he came to Congress they were 
unable to assign him any special place as a debater, but his plain, dis- 
criminating and sincere manner of expressing himself gave him atten- 
tion and carried conviction, such as is not always given to eloquence 

itself. 

In political life Mr. Lind has proven a ready and strong debater. 
He was the distinctively able man of his political persuasion in Minne- 
sota. Without him the Populist elements would not have succeeded in 
holding their forces together. He presented an undaunted front and 
gallantly led his variegated and mosaic army against a strong array of 
Republican leaders, skilled in all the tactics of political warfare, and 
this, too, with all the great newspapers of the state in hostility against 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 79 

him. He was not able to organize a new permanent party out of the 
Populistic elements, but he did succeed in leading most of those elements 
into the Democratic party, where he went himself and found a cordial 
welcome and distinguished honors. In truth, he was the strongest acces- 
sion the Democratic party ever received in the state. The manifest sin- 
cerity of his convictions overcame the charge of desertion from old politi- 
cal friends, whose prejudices were deep-rooted. At the bar his success 
would have been still more assured, if he had not deviated in politics. 
Perhaps his best work has been achieved in the direction of jurispru- 
dence, and the law was undoubtedly really his chosen pursuit. But his 
profession is a jealous mistress, and will not admit of much devotion to 
politics, if one would achieve her highest honors. Governor Lind has 
now returned to the vigorous pursuit of his profession, from which, he 
says, he never desires again to depart. 

Criticism has been freely given upon Mr. Lind's change of political 
parties. To the philosophic observer, the real line of distinction between 
the two great parties are pretty difficult to define. The radical differences 
of opinion are not so real as the cursory citizen may think; for men 
are mostly marshalled or split in opposition, according to the desire 
for power or plunder which each hopes to snatch for himself. 

Parties themselves, as a whole, shift their positions, abandoning 
ancient policies and going over to the other side. The truth is, that 
the course pursued by one side generally dictates that taken by the 
other. Take the instance of the acquisition of territory. At one time 
the Democrats were the avowed champions of territorial acquisition, as 
in the case of Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico. Now the 
Republicans are acquiring territory, as in Hawaii, Porto Rico and the 
Philippines. When this maneuvering is going on by great parties, it 
should not be surprising that individuals like Mr. Lind, from the best 
of motives, should change their politics. Such changes in English 
politics, by prominent men, are matters of repeated history. Sir Robert 
Peel and his whole cabinet went over from Protection to Free Trade, 
in a single night. Daniel Webster changed front, in early life, from' 
Free Trade to Protection. Thus it is that on questions of mere expe- 
diency opinions come and go. They pass and are forgotten. 

^ Mr. Lind's general character is not wanting in those sterling qualities 
which greatly entitle a public man to confidence and respect. His private 
life is one of decorum and personal purity, a matter which so enriches 



8o SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

the character and influence of a pubHc man. His family ties are very 
dear, well exemplifying what the domestic virtues should be in a true 
American home. His religious convictions have often been challenged. 
While as a matter of fact he may not be a strict orthodox in religious 
belief, yet he cherishes an habitual reverence for the Deity and His 
divine perfection, and a belief in our personal accountability, and also 
entertains a lively hope of an immortal future. With such a mother as 
he has, his religious beliefs could not be otherwise than as here stated. 
In church affiliations he may be accounted a Unitarian, 

Mr. Lind has held many appointments of importance in affairs 
other than political. In 1892 Governor Nelson appointed him a regent 
of the State University, in which capacity he served the term of six 
years. For several years he has been president of the Board of 
Regents. He was long a director of the Brown County Bank. He was 
one of the directors having charge of the building of the Minneapolis, 
New Ulm and Southwestern Railroad. After his removal to Minneapolis 
Mr. Lind was considered very available for Congress by his Democratic 
friends, and was nominated in the Fifth Congressional District, and was 
elected, in 1892, over a tried and sturdy Republican, Hon. Loren Fletcher, 
by a majority of 2,054. He apparently took but little interest in a new 
congressional career, and gladly retired to his chosen profession, the law. 

Governor Lind was married in 1879 to Miss Alice A. Shepard, a most 
estimable lady. She is the daughter of a Blue Earth county farmer, 
and had been educated at the Normal School in the city of Mankato. 
She was born October 15, 1859. Her father, Richard Shepard, had been 
an honored soldier in the Union army. The family later removed to 
California. ^liss Shepard taught school at New Ulm, where the 
acquaintance with her future husband began. To this union there were 
born four children: Norman, born August 14, 1880; Jenny, born 
April 2, 1884; Winifred, born August 25, 1890; and John Shepard, born 
September 14, 1900. 

Hans Mattson. — Nearly seventeen years have passed since the 
death of Hans Mattson, best known to his contemporaries as Colonel 
Hans Mattson, a title honorably earned by him during the Civil war. 
An older generation, now fast fading away, will remember his portly 
figure, the kind but usually serious face, his winning smile and gracious, 
persuasive manners. The features were of a typical Swedish cast. 




HAXS MATTSOX 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 83 

broad and massive. The whole man impressed one with a sense of 
dignified repose, reserve force and quiet observation. Under the surface 
bubbled a genial nature, an optimistic conception of life which often 
disregarded realities and brought the man of business and public affairs 
to grief. There was something of the dreamer in his mental make-up, 
associated with an unusual capacity for grasping and handling large 
things. A distaste for detail and a certain lack of application were 
noticeable in this connection. They sometimes interfered with success 
of a practical nature, but his mental buoyancy, his firm intellectual grip 
on any situation, and his acknowledged capacity for leadership and his 
resourcefulness, more than made up for what he lacked in painstaking 
and laborious attentions to the small affairs of life. 

Hans Mattson descended from good substantial Swedish peasant stock, 
freeholders for generations and of standing in their communities. Born in 
1832, on a small farm in Onnestad parish, in the rich southern province of 
Skane, the boy enjoyed, as he grew up, rather better educational advan- 
tages than the ordinary country lad of his day and environment. For 
two years he attended a classical school in the city of Kristianstad, en- 
tered the artillery service as a cadet, and when eighteen years old 
responded to the call of the wild and unknown, embarking for America. 
That ended his school education. What he learned thereafter, the 
struggle for existence often hard and painful, taught him. The 
fluent use of the English language was acquired during the first couple of 
years after his arrival in this country by personal contact with men 
rather than from books. At twenty he was sufficiently seasoned as an 
American to conduct a party of Swedish immigrants, among whom was 
his own mother, across the country to Illinois, collecting from the railroad 
company for damages suffered on the way, and disbursing the large 
sum of money thus received. His next move of importance brought him 
to the then territory of Minnesota, which thereafter remained his home. 
This happened in 1853, when he led the way to Goodhue county, and 
founded what at first was known as the "Mattson Settlement," but which 
soon afterward, at his own suggestion, received the historic name of 
Vasa. Sickness and mishaps of various nature more or less marred the 
first few years of his life in this country, but his hard knocks had taught 
him self-reliance; he had acquired the art of dealing successfully with 
men ; the English language had become a ready vehicle for his tongue 
t— 6 



84 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

and pen, and on the whole, he was pretty well equipped for the career 
which now gradually opened before him. Chopping- cordwood on the 
Mississippi bottoms was the first occupation; breaking new land, and 
settling upon it with his young bride, followed in quick order. But 
farming was too tame for his active brain and ambition, and he moved 
to Red Wing, then a rapidly growing, bustling river town, engaged in 
mercantile pursuits, and shortly blossomed out as a full-fledged dealer 
and speculator in Minnesota townsites and lands. Then came the panic 
of 1857, with financial ruin for him, as for so many others. What the 
young couple had accumulated of real and personal property went to- 
ward paying off debts — his wife sacrificing even her gold watch — and a 
new start had to be made. A lawyer in Red Wing offered him an oppor- 
tunity to study law in his office, and the chance was eagerly grasped. 
Then followed a year's hard work and economical privations which were 
nobly shared by his wife, whose ingenuity in those ante-kerosene days, 
provided the midnight oil by melting lard in a saucer and putting in 
cotton waste for wick, tallow candles being too expensive. 

At the end of this year of mutual struggles, Mr. Mattson was 
admitted to the bar and engaged in the practice of his profession. In 
the regular order of things his life work should now have been laid 
out for him. He was peculiarly well fitted for a legal career and would 
undoubtedly have attained eminence as an attorney. But a young man 
of his talents and identified with the Swedish element, then as now, 
strong in Goodhue county, could not easily keep out of public life. A 
commission as justice of the peace set the ball rolling. Next he was 
elected city clerk of Red Wing, and shortly after was appointed county 
auditor to fill a vacancy, being regularly elected to the same office twice 
in succession. During this period politics were at fever heat. The great 
cleavage in the nation was soon to take place, and Mattson, as might 
have been expected, did not for a moment hesitate in espousing, heart 
ai^d soul, the cause of the Republican party. He drilled a local military 
club with an enrollment of fifty men, forty-four of whom eventually 
'jerved in the Union army, and in the fall of 1861 raised a company 
among the Swedes and Norwegians of Goodhue county, being mustered 
in with it as its captain at Fort Snelling in the Third Regiment, Minne- 
sota Volunteers. During the next four years his life was closely identi- 
fied with this organization, of which he finally became commanding 
officer. The close of the war found him in command of a large district 



SWEDISH-AMERICAXS OF AIIXXESOTA 85 

in northern Arkansas, where his administrative ability, fairness and 
kindly disposition contributed materially to restore order and bring- about 
normal conditions of peace. 

The mustering- out of his regiment took place in September, 1865, 
and Colonel Mattson returned to Red Wing and resumed his law prac- 
tice. Shortly after he took a leading part in establishing Svenska 
Amcrikanarcn, a weekly newspaper in Chicago, and at about the same 
time was appointed by the governor of Minnesota a member and 
secretary of the State Board of Emigration. In this capacity he worked 
hard and with signal success to make the resources of Minnesota known 
and attract to the state a thrifty and desirable class of settlers, largely 
Swedes and Norwegians, the counties of Wright, Meeker, Kandiyohi, 
Swift and Stevens receiving a greater portion of these Scandinavians. 

Soon after, in 1868, Mattson went to Sweden, spending the winter 
there and returning the following spring. This visit was one of almost 
unmixed delight to him. His military title, won through four years 
of arduous service in the field, and his achievements in civil life, were 
of a nature to attract an attention which he both appreciated and en- 
joyed, and the hearty welcome which he received from relatives and 
old friends in the haunts of his childhood and youth was particularly 
gratifying- to one as home-loving and loyal as he. 

The year 1869 marks the beginning of the political ascendancy of 
the Scandinavian element in the politics of the North Star State. A 
demand for representation on the Republican state ticket was made, 
and Colonel Mattson, being the most prominent and best known public 
man of Scandinavian extraction, received the nomination for Secretary 
of State and was, of course, elected. But his service in this position 
did not prove of long duration. Won over by Jay Cooke, who as the 
head of the Northern Pacific Railway Company, realized the urgent need 
of settlers, to make productive the vast domain opened up by this great 
enterprise. Colonel Mattson, with the approval of his political advisers 
and associates, left in the spring of 1871 with his family for Sweden, 
where he made his headquarters during the next five years, directing 
the steadily growing emigration from that country to Minnesota and 
the Northwest in general. 

The financial crisis of 1873, which was precipitated by the inability 
of further financing the Northern Pacific, terminated Colonel Mattson's 
connection with the company, but he remained abroad until 1876, when 



86 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

he again returned to Minnesota, making his home in MinneapoHs. Poli- 
tics occupied his attention during the fall of that year, when he can- 
vassed the state for the Republican ticket, having himself been nominated a 
presidential elector. Shortly afterward he established Minnesota Stats 
Tidning, and in 1877, with friends in Chicago, began the publication 
of Svenska Tribunen of that city. Engaged in newspaper work the 
following few years, he also was active in land affairs, the large Swed- 
ish settlement in Kittson county, in the northwest corner of Minnesota, 
being largely made up of Goodhue county pioneers and their America- 
born descendants. 

Then, in 1881, began what Colonel Mattson undoubtedly considered 
the most interesting period in his life. Appointed by President Garfield 
Consul General of the United States to India, a most important and 
honorable diplomatic post, he spent two years in that country, resign- 
ing from the position in 1883 to assume the management of the Max- 
well Land Grant Company in New -Mexico. Ever since his childhood, 
when he listened to what a returned Swedish missionary had to say about 
India, this country had taken a strong hold upon his mind and imagination. 
As the accredited representative of the United States, Colonel Mattson's 
opportunities for observing conditions in India were exceptionally good. 
He traveled extensively, inspecting subordinate consulates, formed friend- 
ships with many prominent Englishmen, but took particular pleasure 
in cultivating the acquaintance of the native Hindu. For this he was 
peculiarly fitted, by virtue of temperament and as an American devoted 
to political liberty and democratic institutions. His sympathies, decidedly 
enlisted on the side of the natives of India, could of course not be pub- 
licly expressed, but he found the subject of their condition one of ab- 
sorbing interest and lent his aid, whenever circumstances made it pos- 
sible for him to do so. There always was something of the mystic about 
Mattson, or, rather, he inclined toward a view of life which admitted 
mysticism as a ruling factor in human existence, and the occultism of 
India therefore proved most fascinating to him. On the whole his mind 
was wonderfully broadened by what he learnt in the far East. Never 
bigoted, he returned home more tolerant and liberal than ever. His 
mental outlook had been widened beyond anything he had experienced 
before. He had been touched to the quick by the untold misery which 
he had witnessed ; his mind had eagerly absorbed the new and strange 
impressions which crowded in upon him ; religious creeds lost their im- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 87 

portance to him, and thenceforth and to the end of his life he contem- 
plated existence and all its correlated ideas with the serenity of a stoic 
philosopher. 

After having- given his valuable aid to straightening out the tangled 
affairs of the Maxwell Land Grant Company, the principal stockholders 
of which were friends and business associates in Holland, Colonel Matt- 
son again took a hand in politics, being for the second and third time 
elected Secretary of State of Minnesota. His last term expiring in 1890, 
he took no further part in politics but devoted himself to various busi- 
ness ventures, one of which was the publication of The North, a weekly 
journal in the English language. For years Mattson had realized the 
desirability of such a paper. His love of the Swedish fatherland was 
deep-seated and sincere. But, withal, he was a thoroughly loyal Ameri- 
can ; loyal to the core, and prouder of his American citizenship than of 
any honor which could possible have been conferred upon him by power 
or potentate abroad. And in his varied career, himself passing through 
all the stages of the problems confronting an immigrant to this country, 
he had become fully convinced of the necessity of a thorough Americani- 
zation of the crude material out of which American citizenship is being 
made. He perceived this as a duty on the part of the adopted citizen, 
and he felt that mastery of the English language was a most important 
means to this end. A newspaper published in English, but designed 
especially for Scandinavian readers, would, he thought, prove helpful 
and stimulating in this respect. But, besides this motive, was the desire 
of making the Scandinavian himself known to his American fellow- 
citizen. The past and present of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were 
worthy to be placed before the American people; the intrinsic merits of 
each nationality deserved to be perpetuated on American soil; indeed 
the welfare of the Republic demanded an exchange of ideas and an 
assimilation of races which could only be effected through the medium 
of a common language. These and similar views had been long enter- 
tained by Mattson, who, in 1889, prevailed upon a number of intelligent 
Scandinavian-Americans to organize a stock company for the publica- 
tion of a weekly paper embodying in language and contents the ideas 
above set forth. Previous to this he had been prominent in the organi- 
zation of the Swedish-American Bank, until recently one of the leading 
banking institutions in Minneapolis. 

Another event intimately associated with Colonel Mattson's name 



88 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

is the commemoration in ^linneapolis in September, 1888, of the two 
hundred fiftieth anniversary of the settlement by the Swedes on the 
Delaware river in the present states of Pennsylvania and Delaw^are. He 
took great pride as a native of Sweden in the history of this colony, 
and it was mainly due to his eitorts that this interesting and important 
event received proper recognition. A brief story of the Delaware Swedes 
and of the Minneapolis celebration was subsequently published by him 
in a small volume entitled "Souvenir." 

During his ealier career as a public official charged with the duty 
of promoting immigration to Minnesota, Mattson had written a number 
of pamphlets setting forth the resources and advantages of his adopted 
state. He also, in the course of time, contributed freely to the editorial 
columns of his own and other newspapers, but the only permanent pub- 
lications bearing his name are the "Souvenir" and "Minnen," or "The 
Story of an Emigrant," as the English edition of the latter work is 
called. "Minnen," which appeared in 1890. was written in Swedish and 
was published in fine form by Gleerup at Lund, Sweden. "The Stor>' 
of an Emigrant" dates from the following year and was brought out by 
a publishing firm at St. Paul, Minnesota. Both books cover the same 
ground, tracing the life of the writer from childhood to the time of 
publication. The style is easy, and the story of absorbing interest and 
well told. Barring possibly works of a similar character by German-born 
Americans, "The Story of an Emigrant," even at this late day, has 
hardly a counterpart in our literature. It is at least safe to say that no 
other Scandinavian- American has left a memorial of such worth and 
enduring merits behind him. 

While proud of his Swedish birth and ancestry. Colonel Mattson at 
the same time advocated in this country the affiliation of the three 
northern nations, and labored diligently to make them politically as one. 
The result was a concentration of forces which more than once deter- 
mined the fate of men and measures in the politics of Minnesota. 

Colonel Mattson's health had been impaired since the Civil war, 
when malarial fever and ailments incidental to a soldier's life had made 
serious inroads upon his vitality. In later years bronchitis developed, 
the heart and became affected, and after an illness of four weeks his 
death occurred on March 5, 1893. 

For many years Hans Mattson stood practically alone in the North- 
west as a man who in himself combined the dominant traits of a wide- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF ^IIXXESOTA 89 

awake American with the racial characteristics of the Scandinavian. 
His personahty was a rallying- point for all political endeavor among the 
Minnesota Scandinavians, while public men whose speech was confined 
to the English language, looked up to him as the medium through which 
the large Scandinavian contingent in the state could be reached and in- 
fluenced. Politics, however, were mostly side issues with him. He 
could play the game with consummate skill, when he chose, but he was 
inclined to fritter away his political opportunities, and to this fact must 
be ascribed his failure to reach the political heights which other men, 
inferior to him in experience, ability and intelligence, succeeded in 
attaining. — Lnth Jaeger. 

John Albert Johxsox.— In the early dawn of the morning of Sep- 
tember 21, 1909, a plain, gaunt, sad-faced patient of middle age was 
stretched on a bed of suffering in St. Clary's Hospital, Rochester, now 
and then reaching out his long hand to touch the face of the weeping 
woman by his side. The hand was of the large, nervous kind, used to 
exercise, and the face was seamed with thought and intensity of pur- 
pose. "Well, Nora," at length whispered the Governor of Minnesota, 
"I'm going — we made a brave fight." This was the simple, undramatic 
end of John A. Johnson; an end in which the wave of deep affection 
surmounted his being as it had throughout the years of his vigorous 
life. It was this lovable and loving quality, this note of fraternal sin- 
cerity to which his sentiments and words were ever pitched, which gave 
this Lincoln of the northwest his hold on the hearts of men and women, 
and which made the following high words of eulogy from a leading 
journal of his state a statement of literal truth: "No death in Minne- 
sota ever was felt so deeply and widely as that of Governor Johnson. 
We speak advisedly. Greater men have died in the maturity of life 
and fame, with their work done and their span rounded out. He died 
in the vigorous prime of life, with his best promise of performance 
before him. What he might have done can never be known. Grief and 
affection measure it generously. He departs at what might have been 
the climax of popularity that has had few parallels in the United 
States. He will remain a romantic legend of political success without 
compromise of taste, dignity or honor; of high public purpose fulfilled 
without loss of personal popularity. That might not have endured. But 



90 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

r 

he loved service above reward, achievement more than applause. To 
such a man death comes as untimely as to his lovers." 

Governor Johnson was the only chief executive of the state who 
was a native of it, and the fact that he served three successive terms 
and had entered the third with a cumulative increase of public respect 
and popularity showed how truly his sterling and attractive individual 
temperament responded to the temper of the masses. Despite the hard- 
ships of his earlier life he had retained the optimism of boyhood; yet 
was a man of broad balance and practical wisdom. While he freely ad- 
mitted the homely and even unfortunate circumstances of his boyhood 
and youth — that his father was not as firm of will as a proud and loyal 
son might wish, that his mother labored over the washtub to keep the 
household afloat, etc., — still he never struck the heroic attitude of the 
"self-made" man who had risen above such drawbacks to natural fame. 
His financial circumstances never gave him an excuse to be purse-proud, 
and his broad sympathy with the strugglers of the world, so many of 
whom made no headway against the adverse currents, put a lifelong check 
on self-arrogance. To the last he was a virile struggler himself, but with 
his personal advancement it became more a struggle for others than for 
himself; and every year of his life the people of Minnesota and of the 
country at large were understanding it more clearly. 

This noble-hearted and noble-doing Swedish-American was born in 
a frontier cabin near the little village of St. Peter, on the 28th of July, 
1861, son of Gustav and Caroline (Haden) Johnson. His father was 
of a good Swedish family and inherited considerable wealth, but appears 
to have squandered his inheritance, and at the age of thirty-three to have 
been assisted by his relatives to the northwest of the United States to 
begin life anew. He located at St. Peter, married, and for some time 
steadily followed his trade as a blacksmith ; but his old habits again 
mastered him and his wastefulness, not to call it by a worse name, would 
have plunged the family into dire poverty, had it not been for the 
brave drudgery of the mother and the helpfulness of the sons. At his 
death the unfortunate father left four sons and a daughter, of whom 
John A. was the second to be born. It is characteristic of the late 
governor that when these painful circumstances of his boyhood were 
brought into his first gubernatorial campaign, he refused to deny the 
parentage of a drunken father and "mother who took in washing." The 
first he admitted regretfully, sadly, without comment; the second, with 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 91 

a proud uplift of the head and the words which brought such ringing 
applause: "Took in washing? Yes, she did, until I was old enough tp 
get out and earn something. But she never took in any washing after 
that." That Governor Johnson was largely indebted to that mother for 
the mental and moral qualities which were his splendid heritage is at- 
tested by many inhabitants of St. Peter who knew the family well. In 
her later years Providence recompensed this brave woman, for she lived 
until 1906, dying then at an advanced age with the loyalty and love of 
the governor of Minnesota still secure. 

It was at the age of twelve that John A. Johnson, after the death 
of his father, commenced the struggle in a St. Peter grocery, and 
thence graduated to the village drugstore. The ten> years of his work in 
that capacity proved not only his making as a thorough pharmacist, but 
gave him the opportunity to acquire an education. This was acquired not 
by school attendance, but by exhausting all the libraries within his reach, 
public and private, and by proving and fixing the knowledge thus gained 
through his connection with debating and literary societies. He was also 
socially inclined ; so that altogether he derived the great benefit of thor- 
oughly digesting his book knowledge and making it available for every- 
day use. Mr. Johnson remained in the drug business until he was 
twenty-five, and the occasion of his retirement from the field was the 
offer made by four leading Democrats of the place to advance him the 
necessary funds to purchase a partnership in the St. Peter Herald. Its 
former editor had died and, although Mr. Johnson was quite inex- 
perienced as a practical journalist, his friends were confident that he 
could be a thorough newspaperman if he wanted to. As he favored the 
plan, in 1886 he became the editorial partner in the publication named 
and, as his supporters predicted, was soon a telling force in state jour- 
nalism. In 1891 he was elected secretary of the Minnesota Editorial 
Association, and became its president in 1893, at the age of thirty-two. 
He had already ventured into politics, and in 1898 had really entered; for 
although he had been beaten for a seat in the legislature from Nicollet 
county, in 1888, ten years later he had been elected to the state senate 
over C. J. Carlson, of the Gustavus Adolphus College. After his four 
years' term in the upper house of the legislature he was honored with 
a renomination, but was defeated by another good Swedish-American, 
C. A. Johnson. In 1904 John A. Johnson was first nominated for gover- 
nor, having as his strong Republican opponent Robert C. Dunn, who 



92 SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

had made a fine record as state auditor. The former made one of the 
most sensational runs in the pohtical history of Minnesota and went 
into office with a majority of 7,862, taking his seat as the third Democratic 
governor in forty years. He greatly increased his prestige during his 
first administration, everywhere gaining friends by his constant attend- 
ance at public gatherings and his frank and manly speeches, as well as by 
recommending and approving such popular and desirable legislation 
"as the two-cent fare bill. His appointments also met with general 
approval. In 1906 the people therefore approved of his own phrase, 
"one good term deserves another," and he commenced his second term 
encouraged bv a plurality of more than 72,000 votes, which has been 
well termed "the most flattering vote ever given a candidate for gov- 
ernor of iMinnesota." This really dramatic success of a plain, earnest, 
practical man, who had never striven after effect, brought him into 
national prominence, with its usual accompaniment of attentions from 
magazines, lyceum bureaus, etc. The University of Pennsylvania also 
conferred upon him the degree of LL. D. June 19, 1907. In the fall 
of the succeeding year he was elected governor by a plurality of more 
than 28,000, and was still deep in his campaign for the initiative and 
referendum, a license tax on corporations outside the state which did 
business within, for the increased taxation of home corporations and 
for the proper regulation of all business and financial organizations 
which enjoyed the protection of the state laws— was still earnestly 
and honestly following what he claimed to be true Democratic doctrine 
when he was prostrated by his last illness. 

At the telegraphic spread of Governor Johnson's death, messages 
of condolence were received by the stricken widow from President Taft, 
governors of states and other men high in public life, irrespective of 
partv. Deep regret, founded on the most sincere affection, pervaded 
all the messages, whether sent by personal friends or those who had 
partaken at a distance of the rare manhood of the deceased man and 
statesman. 

On June 1, 1894, Mr. Johnson wedded Miss Elinore M. Preston. 
She had been educated in the Catholic sisters' school at Rochester, and 
came to St. Peter as a teacher of music and drawing in the parochial 
school at that place. A woman of education and rare refinement, she 
was a devoted wife to the last. The husband was reared as a Lutheran, 
but in later life joined the Presbyterian church, of which he was long 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 93 

a devoted trustee. Although differing, in religious behef, they were 
one in spirit and in truth. Besides the widow, two brothers and a sister 
survive the governor: they are Edward, an engineer at the hospital 
for the insane at St. Peter ; Frederick W., a widely known hotel man 
of New Ulm ; and Hattie, a school teacher at St. Peter. 

The universal honor and aft"ection accorded Minnesota's beloved 
son was in impressive evidence for twelve hours of September 22, 
1909, when seventy-five thousand people of all ages and conditions 
passed through the rotunda of the capital and took a mournful fare- 
well of his dear body there lying in formal state and in the greater 
dignity of death, and the people of Alinnesota suspended all worldly 
activities as the body of their beloved son was gently lowered to its 
last restmg place at Green Hills cemetery, St. Peter. 

The dignitaries of the state so deeply loved by the deceased also 
honored the closing scenes of his life with their manly affection and 
profound respect. His honorary pallbearers included four ex-gover- 
nors of ]^Iinnesota — L. F. Hv^bbard, John Lind, Samuel R. Van Sant 
and Knute Nelson— with Governor A. O. Eberhart, Hon. C. M. Start 
(chief justice of the supreme court). Governor John Burk of North 
Dakota, and President Cyrus Northrup of the University of Minnesota. 
The active pallbearers were selected from the governor's personal friends : 
Frank A. Day, his private secretary ; F. B. Lynch ; T. D. O'Brien, asso- 
ciate justice of the supreme court; E. T. Young, formerly attorney 
general; A. C. Weiss, manager of the Duluth Herald, and John C. 
Wise, of Mankato. 

Thus did the love of his friends and kindred and the profound 
respect of eminent men accompany John Albert Johnson to the grave. 
The tributes paid to his character, through the press by men distinguished 
in all walks of life, would make a volume in themselves. For instance, 
this from Governor Charles E. Hughes of New York: "The death of 
Governor Johnson is a national loss. His Hfe was one of the finest illus- 
trations of American opportunity well used. He was a man of the 
highest character and his administration of the office to which he was 
thrice elected commanded the confidence of the people. His career 
was so extraordinary that it deeply impressed the entire country, and 
he was universally admired and respected." 

Governor Judson Harmon of Ohio: "The people of Minnesota 
have made superfluous all tributes to Governor Johnson except their 



94 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF .AIIXNESOTA 

own. His first election might have been due to impulse or caprice or 
to discontent with conditions. Its double repetition, emphasized by con- 
trast with results as to other candidates, was a positive declaration that 
they found in him the qualities which a people conducting government 
for themselves require in their officers — vigilance, fearlessness, single- 
ness of unselfish purpose to protect and further the public welfare, with 
the sagacity to know and the ability to do the varied tasks which duty 
imposes." 

Ex-Governor \'an Sant: "Our state has suffered a great loss in 
the death of Governor Johnson. He had endeared himself in the hearts 
of the people of Minnesota, and he will be universally mourned, not 
only by our people, but by the people of the nation as well. His ability 
of statesmanship was universally recognized, and it is safe to say that 
he was not only the foremost man of his party in this state, but looked 
upon as the most available man to the Democratic party as a presidential 
candidate in 1912. Personally, I deeply deplore his untimely death." 

]\Iayor Haynes: "I have known Governor Johnson for many years 
intimately. I have always regarded him as a genuine and genial man. 
He was not only a great person of ability, but I think he had a very 
comprehensive grasp on the great questions affecting this state and 
nation. He was a true friend, and his death is an irreparable loss to 
the country. I am deeply affected." 

Colonel Frank T. Corriston: "We were both born in St. Peter, 
and I have known Governor Johnson all my life. I admired him greatly. 
His manliness, ability and good fellowship won for him a deep regard 
from everyone who knew him. His companionship was most enjoyable. 
Had he lived he would have gained further national prominence. His 
death is most unfortunate." 

Clark Howell, of Georgia, member of Democratic national com- 
mittee: "Governor Johnson's death still further complicates the con- 
fusion of the Democracy. Had he lived he would in all probability 
have been the presidential nominee next time, with many elements of 
unusual strength, chief among which was his hold on the middle West. 
He might have united the party. His death is ta be deeply deplored, 
both in the party and the broader standpoint." 

Judge George Gray, of Delaware: "The death of Governor John- 
son is a national calamity. I am grieved and shocked to hear the sad 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 95 

news. The governor apparently had a great future before him and the 
country had reason to expect a great deal of him." 

James J. Hill: "The governor was always affable, courteous and 
agreeable. He possessed many of the qualities of a leader combined 
with kindly disposition and a pleasant appearance. His ability was 
illustrated by his career, coming as he did from the lowest stratum of 
the social structure to the highest. His life's work and its results were 
not matters of accident. They were due to his perseverance and inborn 
ability. The State of Minnesota has suffered a great loss in the death 
of its leader." 

Another worthy newspaper tribute: "Governor John A. Johnson 
of Minnesota had a career that may be called typically American. 
Self-made men who rise to high political or business positions are not 
as common as they were in the older days. Greater opportunities for 
education and for getting the start in life are the order of the present, 
but John A. Johnson, born only a few years more than a generation 
ago, had a boyhood and early youth hemmed in by hardships and dis- 
couragements that would have killed effort and ambition in one whose 
qualities were not sterling. 

"It is the habit to turn the attention of schoolboys to the examples 
of men who have made their way to high places in the face of obstacles 
that seemed to be insurmountable. How much good this method of stir- 
ring the spirit of emulation does it is hard to state. The probabilities 
are that the boy who has it in him will get to the hilltop even if he is 
spared constant reminders that other men have climbed before him. If, 
however, there is incentive in the example of others, John A. Johnson's 
life provides it. His boyhood and youth were as hard as those of 
Lincoln. 

"There ordinarily is an arrogance in self-made men. Johnson had 
little of it. His early experiences tinged his life with gravity, though 
his sense of humor was kept unspoiled and his faith in his fellows sur- 
vived. His nature was lovable, and this fact accounts in a measure 
for the popularity which ability alone seldom brings. 

"Johnson was what in these days is called a conservative-radical. 
He was originally a Republican, but he soon found himself unorthodox 
on the subject of the tariff. He became a Cleveland Democrat, but 
later his "westernism" told and he gave over many of the views to 
which a large part of the eastern Democracy held tenaciously. Johnson's 



96 SWEDISH-A:\IERICAXS of MINNESOTA 

political career was little short of the marvelous. He was three times 
elected governor on the Democratic ticket in a state that was over- 
whelmingly Republican. A part of the governor's success was set down 
to the fact that he was of Swedish extraction and that the voters of 
the race, mostly Republican, voted for him. To say that Governor 
Johnson owed his success to the accident of birth is to ignore the real 
reasons for his advancement. He had the qualities of leadership and 
a mind that was essentially constructive. 

■'Education in his native state and the cause of the conservation of 
the nation's national resources owe much to Governor Johnson. He 
won the praise of his political opponents for his single-minded efforts 
to do what he could for good government. He overcame much. His 
ambitions were in part realized. The future might have held greater 
honors for him than those that came in his life, which was all too short. 
He w^as a man worthy of his country and his state." 

Hon. Adolph O. Eberhart, seventeenth chief executive of the 
commonwealth of Minnesota, is one of the strongest personalities of 
the northwest — an able lawyer, a successful business man and a popular 
character because he is of the people and for the people, and is still 
struggling ahead with the hard and honest workers of the state. As 
he was born in Vermland, Sweden, June 23, 1870, he is of especial pride 
to all Swedish-Americans, and as he is not yet over the line of middle 
age, has a future whose possibilities and probabilities are great. Among 
the honors which may be in store for him is a gift of the governorship 
direct from the people ; his installation into office as the eighteenth gov- 
ernor of Minnesota. As stated by a metropolitan journal just prior to 
the New Year, 1910: "There is a chance that Governor Eberhart may 
not win the nomination, and that he will make some mistake which will 
result in failure. In the short time he has been governor, he has walked 
carefully and circumspectly. There is no reason to believe that he 
will make the error which his enemies are hoping for; and it must 
be admitted that he has them. A man in politics always has enemies. 
It is especially so when a man is elevated to an office by accident, to which 
other strong men aspire," 

The same journalistic authority, which certainly cannot be claimed 
to be prejudiced in favor of the governor, has this to say of the immedi- 
ate steps which led to Mr. Eberhart's advance to the high office which he 
is now filling with such credit : 




A. 0. EBERHART 



(PUBLIC UBRAK^I 






SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 97 

"The Goddess of Luck has smiled upon Adolph Eberhart. He be- 
came lieutenant governor when he was an unknown quantity. He had 
figured things out in his own methodical way, and they came to pass as 
he had judged they would. His success was partly luck, partly the result 
of his careful judgment and another part due to that fact that he was 
a Scandinavian, his nomination coming at a time when the office of secre- 
tary of state had been transferred from a Scandinavian to a German, in 
the person of Julius Schmahl. Then the Goddess of Luck continued to 
look with favor upon the man from Mankato. He was a practically 
avowed candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, courage- 
ously willing to run against John A. Johnson, of whom most of the other 
candidates were afraid. It was by no means certain that he would have 
been nominated, although this might have happened. An unfortunate 
visitation of providence, one that no one regretted more than the present 
governor, removed Governor Johnson and elevated Adolph Eberhart to 
his place. The logic of the situation has changed many things. The men 
who were opposed to Eberhart at the outset recognized it, and kept still. 
The new governor has gone ahead. He is still something of an experi- 
ment, but the general verdict is that he is making good. Democrats and 
Republicans alike acknowledge his inevitability, and are making their 
plans accordingly." 

When the future governor was ten years of age his parents emigrated 
to the United States, but left the lad behind in Vermland, because they 
were unable to pay for his passage. In the following year (1881) he 
successfully undertook the long journey alone, and joined the family 
in Nebraska, whither they had located. His first job was to herd cattle 
on the prairies of Dixon and Cedar counties ; but the boy craved an active 
life in which his mind, as well as his body, should find employment. So 
in the following year he found employment with a farmer, who was 
also a minister and a man of education. Although the youth received 
but ten dollars a month for his services, he felt well compensated, as 
he had access to a fine library and enjoyed the advantage of intercourse 
with refined people who took an interest in his intellectual advance- 
ment. But as his parents were most unfortunate in their farming ven- 
tures, he was obliged to continuously contribute to their support, and 
could obtain no methodical educational training until he was twenty- 
one years of age. Then, with only $37.50 in money and a small assort- 



98 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

ment of clothing, but possessing what was far better, perfect health 
and prodigious energy, he entered Gustavus x^dolphus College, St. Peter, 
in the spring of 1891. What he performed there has few counterparts; 
as in four years and three months he completed the curriculum which 
usually covers seven or eight years, taking not only the regular course 
but other special branches and mastering, altogether, seventy-nine studies ; 
more than that, when he graduated from his class, in 1895, he had 
reached an average percentage of more than ninety-four. During the 
entire period he proved to be a debater of such force that his side never 
lost the day. To add to the high credit which was accorded the young 
man, it was taken into consideration that his vacations and other "spare 
moments" were spent in such employment as he could obtain to provide 
the means for a continuation of his studies. 

After his graduation Mr. Eberhart entered the law office of Judge 
Gray in ]\Iankato, and after three years of hard study began the practice 
in that place, which placed him in the front rank of the rising attorneys 
of the state, both as to reputation and extent of business. Officially, he 
served as deputy clerk of the United States circuit and district courts 
and as United States commissioner for the district of Minnesota. In 
1902 Mr. Eberhart was elected to represent the eleventh district in the 
state senate and assumed the office without opposition, an honor which 
he alone has enjoyed in his home district. He was returned to the 
higher house of the legislature in 1905, and although the youngest mem- 
ber of that body became the father of much important legislation. He 
succeeded in placing on the statute books of the state the Highway Com- 
mission act, the law which prohibits the giving and accepting of rebates, 
and several important amendments to the Railroad and Warehouse Com- 
mission act. In a word, his fine record in the state senate placed him 
in such excellent position before the people that he was elected lieuten- 
ant governor on the Republican ticket by a majority of thirty-two thou- 
sand, notwithstanding that Governor Johnson was placed in office by 
the Democrats with a majority of seventy-two thousand. 

With the possible exception of the late governor, Mr. Eberhart has 
always been considered at the head of the impromptu speakers in the 
state, and that fact has been one forcible cause of his remarkable in- 
fluence and popularity. Like his predecessor, also, he is beloved by the 
large and influential Scandinavian element of the state, and heartily rec- 
ognized by all as a man who has made his way by sheer strength of 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA yy 

character, without the assistance of wire-pulling or outside influence. 
Up to the last moment, before assuming his heavy responsibilities as exe- 
cutive head of a great state, he had been busily engaged in the discharge 
of private matters, and his elevation came to him almost as a painful 
shock. When the first news came of the serious condition of Governor 
Johnson, Mr. Eberhart was at his home; but the same day (September 
16th) he attended the Blue Earth count\- fair at Garden City, and the 
following day found him at Winona, where he arrived in time to hear 
President Taft's address. On Saturday morning he journeyed to the 
Twin Cities to attend to some business matters, and in the afternoon 
was one of the guests who sat down at the luncheon given for the 
president at St. Paul, being also among those who attended the banquet 
at Minneapolis in the evening. He returned to Mankato Sunday even- 
ing and was absorbed in his business and professional work until, on 
the evening of Monday, September 20th, he began to realize that the 
death of the governor was near. But, although it was a shock to him 
when the inevitable was over, he assumed the duties which devolved 
upon him with manly promptness and dignity, and has continued to 
display these qualities to the present. 

Among the public questions in which he was especially interested and 
on which he took a stand which was noteworthy, was that pertaining to 
capital punishment, to which he was and is firmly opposed. His efl'orts 
were in the direction of a modification or absolute repeal of the present 
Minnesota law, which he claims is more prone to defeat the ends of 
justice than to promote them. His position is described in his own words, 
as follows : "I am absolutely opposed to the infliction of the death pen- 
alty, and do not believe in it either as a preventive or permitive measure 
so far as crime is concerned. I say this without reference to any special 
case, but it is a matter of my own observation that the law, as it now 
stands, tends to hinder rather than aid the process of justice. The death 
penalty is a relic of an archaic and barbarous penal code, and the wdiole 
tendency of modern penology is away from it. As the law now stands 
a jury, in trials for murder in the first degree, must either sentence the 
defendant to be hanged or acquit him. Under these circumstances, when 
there is no other option left the jury, it is the tendency of all juries to con- 
sider even the slightest matters which may tend to raise a doubt and the 
result is frequently acquittal when there is every reason to believe that 
had imprisonment, even for life, been a possibilitv, there would have been 



A^^^^]f<r^ 



loo SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

a conviction and the law would have been vindicated. I have in mind now 
a number of noted trials which resulted in the defendant going free sim- 
ply, as I believe, because the jury had to decide between hanging and ac- 
quittal, and on account of the very slightest doubts, the latter resulted." 

In addition to his professional and political activities, Mr. Eberhart 
has managed to develop several large business interests. The most im- 
portant of these is represented by the Widell Company, which controls 
a large and productive stone quarry at Mankato, as well as three other 
valuable deposits in the vicinity. The enterprise now employs several 
hundred men and embraces not only stone supply but masonry construc- 
tion. Throughout Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa may be seen many 
substantial evidences of its business, mainly in the form of bridge 
masonry. 

Governor Eberhart was married, in 1898, to Miss Adele M. Koke, 
by whom he had the following children : Alberta Louise, Herbert Carl, 
Dorothy Anna, Eugene Stanley, and Gertrude Helen. 



CHAPTER VI. 
INFLUENCE OF THE SWEDES UPON THE STATE'S GROWTH. 

The influence of the character of a race upon the development and 
prosperity of a country can always be discerned, especially in the United 
States of America. The character of the Swedish nationality has made 
its influence felt in many fields in the State of Minnesota, and has under 
all circumstances been of a decided benefit to the commonwealth. The 
courage and energy of the first Swedish pioneers made it possible for 
them to meet and endure the perils and privations which were insepar- 
able from the pioneer's life. Upon the solid foundation of those quali- 
ties did they later build success and prosperity, not only for themselves 
but for the whole state which became their new home. Obstacles in- 
numerable never discouraged them ; neither did the intense cold and the 
long winters drive them away from their simple homes. 

Their predominant qualities, diligence, frugality and perseverance, 
did not only make them prosperous but often wealthy. These qualities 
also made their impressions on many of their neighbors of other nationali- 
ties who began reasoning: "Look, what our Swedish neighbors have 
accomplished; they have built good and substantial homes for their 
families, cultivated their farms intensively and become prosperous. Why 
don't we do the same?" The religious, social and moral influence of the 
Swedish element in the state of Minnesota has been of incalculable and 
lasting value. 

A large contingent of the present population of Minnesota was 
either born in Sweden or is descended from Swedish immigrants. This 
active, intelligent and law-abiding nationality is well settled over the 
whole state. According to the state census of 1905, Minnesota had a 
population of 1,977,401 souls, of which more than one-eighth were 
Swedes, immigrants and their descendants. Their number was given as 
253,885. The number of Germans was 362,000, and of Norwegians, 
260,938. Among these three nationalities, the Swedes consequently held 

lOI 



102 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

the third place. The same census gives the number of living immigrants 
as follows: Swedes, 126,223; Germans, 119,868, and Norwegians, 111,- 
611. The Swedes consequently hold the first place as immigrants. 

We find Swedes in the cities, towns, villages, and hamlets, as well 
as on the farms. Everywhere they seem to be prosperous. W^hatever 
difficulties they have met with in the beginning, their hard work and 
perseverance have surmounted. As a rule they have not tried to possess 
large tracts of land, but taken smaller farms which they cultivate in- 
tensively and improve continuously. In some parts of the state the 
soil and other natural resources have not been as favorable as in other 
localities, but they have not given up the task ; only put in so much the 
harder work, and the result has been, that their success has very often 
been much greater than that of other settlers under more favorable 
circumstances. For this reason it has become an established fact that 
many farms in northern Minnesota owned by Swedes are not only just 
as good, but in many cases much better than a good many in the southern 
and more fertile parts of the state. Even as far north as near the Cana- 
dian border, we find numerous Swedish farmers who are so prosperous 
and contented that they would not be willing to exchange their farms 
at any price. But it is little wonder that a man who has spent the best 
years of his life in breaking the ground and building a comfortable home 
should not easily be willing to give it up. 

The Swedes have learned to love their adopted country and its insti- 
tutions ; the land that has not disappointed them, but given them rich 
crops, even if it has cost them much and incessant toil, before their labors 
received their reward. It is a remarkable fact that the Swedes from the 
central and northern parts of Sweden never let wooded land deter them. 
On the contrary they preferred it, because it gave them timber for their 
buildings and also for sale. The immigrants from Scania, on the other 
hand, would prefer the prairies, with their rich black soil, which only 
needed to be turned by the plow or the hoe in order to give immediate 
results. 

IMany visitors from, the eastern states have been surprised to find 
Minnesota, a state at least two hundred years younger than their own 
section, in such a flourishing condition. Ever since INIinnesota woke up 
its people have fulfilled its mission, and made, it. the great state of today. 
In many localities of the state the natural forces have been hard on the 
Swedish farmer, but thev have never been able to conquer him. It is 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 103 

true that the long and cold winters, the hailstorms, the cyclones, the 
droughts or the grasshoppers often put the farmers' best endeavors to 
naught, but the Swedish farmer would never "give in," and his pains and 
perseverance have therefore received their reward. In this regard the 
Swedish farmer has often proved an example which his discouraged 
neighbors have considered wise to follow ; and so it has been all over 
the state. 

Many of the earliest settlers in Minnesota came very near turning 
their backs on a state which in the beginning looked so wild and inhos- 
pitable to them, and where they were met by all kinds of adversities. 
When they, however, observed the patience, energy and perseverance of 
their Swedish neighbors who had to go through at least as many, if not 
more, troubles and conquer them, they took courage, started the fight 
against the difficulties anew, and came out victors. It seems, though, 
as if the Swedish character, customs and feeling of mutual responsibility 
as a rule would make the Swedes better fitted to endure and conquer the 
difficulties which seem to be inseparable from pioneer life. 

Swedes who are not willing to Avork are rare animals, indeed. As a 
rule the race understand the work they undertake to do. It may be that 
they do not overexert themselves, but they don't do less than they have 
agreed to, and what they do is done according to sound judgment and in 
the correct manner. The young ones follow the example of their elders 
and work to the best of their capacity. In general, it would be hard to 
find children more affectionate to their parents. During the harvesting, 
when everything depends upon getting the crops under shelter in time, and 
when it is difficult to get enough hired help, young and well educated 
women, married and single, will go out in the fields and work day after 
day, from early morn till late at night, together with their father and 
brothers, until the harvesting is done. This they do, not only because it 
gives them a good income, but also because they find a real pleasure in 
work and its blessings. 

The Swedes are very few w'ho have lived some time in Minnesota 
who are needy or really poor. On the contrary most of them are well- 
to-do, and quite a number wealthy. A large number, even among the 
common laborers and mechanics, live in their own homes, and are good 
livers when they can afford it. As a matter of course,, they do not 
squander their money, but when it comes to their church or the members 
of their own families, both their hearts and. their purses open up.. The: 



104 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

same is true when it is the question of lending a helping hand. In this 
connection we will only call the attention to what the Minnesota Swedes 
did seven years ago for their suffering countr}-men in Norrland, as well 
as at other similar occasions. What they have done for their churches, 
their schools and colleges, in aid of the poor and suffering, for their 
charitable institutions, etc., would be too long a list to enumerate. For 
this, as well as for other reasons, the Swedes of Minnesota are a splendid 
example. They are not penurious or stingy ; neither are they extravagant 
or squandering. Their expenditures are always less than their incomes, 
and it would probably not be very far from the truth, if we take for 
granted that they save twenty-five per cent of their income. There are 
exceptions, of course, but those only prove the rule. It is said, and with 
truth, of the Swedish farmers, that they do not only think of keeping 
the productive capacity of their farms up to their present standard, but 
are improving them all the time, thus increasing their fertility. In this 
manner many of the sandy and unproductive farms in several localities 
have been brought up to a state of high cultivation and fertility. 

Also in other fields of activity the Swedes of ^Minnesota have been 
successful. As machine workers, in foundries, as mechanical and civil 
engineers and constructors in general, they are very much in demand and 
have won high regard. In Minnesota, as well as in other states of the 
Union, the Swedes have gained a fine reputation for erudition as well as 
prominence in the arts and sciences, through which they also have gained 
a high standing socially and politically. Church choirs, singing societies, 
musical directors, are not scarce among the Swedes of the North Star 
State. The great singing festivals which have been given at various 
occasions and with the greatest success, are proofs that the Swedes of 
Minnesota have not degenerated from their musical countrATnen in 
Sweden. 

By making a general survey of the work the Swedish nationality has 
performed in IVIinnesota one must admit that they have a right to feel 
proud. It is not our intention to detract from or ignore the part taken 
by the Norwegians, Germans and others in the development of Minne- 
sota. One thing is, however, sure ; that the Swedes have done their share 
of the work, which means that the state of Minnesota would never have 
become so rich and won such praise from all sides, had not the Swedes 
so largely contributed to its success. This fact is also being more and 
more acknowledged by other nationalities represented in the population of 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 105 

the great North Star State. However great the achievements, these are 
only the beginning. During years to come the example of the patient, 
diligent, thrifty, courageous and patriotic Swedish pioneers will spur 
coming generations to still larger and nobler deeds. The whole founda- 
tion of the state, which now looks so solid and indestructible, was in a 
large part laid by the Swedes, as it is also now partly managed by 
Swedes; and this circumstance will in the future make this land, con- 
quered from the virgin forest and the prairie — this Minnesota — as be- 
loved by their children and descendants, as they themselves, loved their 
original fatherland on the other side of the ocean. This strong senti- 
ment will help to keep the great structure of state together. Without the 
love, self-sacrifice and afifection of its people no land on this earth can 
exist for any length of time. 



CHAPTER VII. 

SWEDISH MUSICAL LIFE IN MINNESOTA 

By Dr. Victor Nilsson. 

As the Swedish-Americans of I\Iinnesota in many respects hold a 
position of marked influence and power, it is hardty a cause for surprise 
that their musical life not only is rich and varied, but has made for itself 
a place among Americans as in no other section of the United States. In 
Chicago, Boston or New York, the Swedes may do as much musically, 
but their influence is not potent or widespread as far as other nationalities 
are concerned. In little Lindsborg, Bethany College exerts a domineering 
influence over a large territory, musically ; but this is more a direct lead 
taken internationally, and not for Swedish song and music in particular. 
But altogether different is the case in ^Minnesota, particularly in Minnea- 
polis where Swedish song and Swedish singers, Swedish music and 
Swedish musicians wield an influence as in no other place outside dear 
old Sweden. 

The Twin Cities with their large Swedish population, St. Peter with 
Gustavus Adolphus College and Duluth, naturally are the centers for 
musical activity. In ]\Iinneapolis, where also so many Norwegians dwell, 
Scandinavian male quartets have existed from the beginning of the 
seventies. Such were Scandia, Scandinavian Singing Society and 
others, which hardly kept together for more than a year or so. The 
Scandinavian IMusic Corps was organized in 1872 and remained in exis- 
tence until 1875. It had ten to twelve members, and Andrew Slotten 
was its leader. The singing society, Scandia, was organized April 1, 1874, 
counting seventeen active and about as many passive members. Exactly 
a year later it was merged into the new social society, Norden, and 
gradually ceased practicing. Scandia gave several successful concerts and 
did much to awaken interest in the cause of music. In April, 1878, 
Oliver Larson, energetic teacher of song and music, who had been the 
leader of Scandia, organized The Scandinavian Singing Society which, 

ic6 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 107 

in spite of chronic lack of tenors, kept up practice until 1876. A quartet, 
consisting of Oliver Larson, August Ohman, Charles Strandberg and 
Bernt Sannerud, continued for several years to brighten concerts and 
social entertainments with its singing. Between the years 1882 and 1883 
a new singing society was in action, called Scandia, having for leader 
Professor Gustavus Johnson, a Swedish pianist of merit, who from that 
time on began to be recognized as one of the most meritorious and influ- 
ential musicians of the northwest. 

Interest in Swedish song had received enticing and quickening from 
the visits of the first and second (the so-called original) ladies quartets 
from Sweden, and from the concert tour of Christine Nilsson in 1884, 
But it was the large biennial music festivals, or "sangerfests," of the 
United Scandinavian Singers of America at last brought forth en- 
thusiasm and organizations of a lasting kind. When its second festival 
was held in Chicago, July, 1889, through the solicitation of the Norwegian 
Singing Society in Minneapolis it was decided that the next biennial 
festival was to be given in the latter city. This gave the Swedes the 
impetus to organize a singing society to help their Norwegian brethren 
along in the arrangements, and the example was followed by the Danes 
of ]\Iinneapolis. Gustaf Wicklund, Frank Berger, David Hjelmerus and 
Dr. Victor Nilsson, experienced male quartet singers from Sweden, called 
a meeting in November, 1889, at the hall of the Norden Society, and 
there a Swedish singing society was organized with about thirty members. 
Gustavus Johnson was elected director, Gustaf Wicklund president, Frank 
Berger vice president, David Hjelmerus secretary and Victor Nilsson 
treasurer. At the first rehearsal, held in Harmonia Hall club rooms, the 
new society was named Orpheus, as proposed by its treasurer. The 
Orpheus Singing Society at once took up hard practice and preparations 
for the sangerfest, joining the United Scandinavian Singers. On the 
executive committee of five for the festival the Orpheus members N. P. 
Nelson and Victor Nilsson were made treasurer and secretary, respec- 
tively. Gustavus Johnson retired after the first year and was succeeded 
by C. H. E. Oberg, an experienced singer and director, formerly the 
vocal teacher of Ivar Hedenblad, the director of the Upsala student 
chorus, one of the finest of its second basses during its triumphant appear- 
ances in Paris in 1878. At the sangerfest in Minneapolis, the concerts of 
which were given in the University Coliseum, Orpheus appeared with 
the cantata "Islossningen," by Josephson. This was a splendid example to 



io8 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

set up, as many a famous club to this day selects only inferior and insig-- 
nificant quartets, sometimes not even by Swedish composers, for their 
solo appearances on similar important occasions. Director Oberg had 
carefully rehearsed the composition, but stage fright, some underhand 
opposition among the singers themselves, and partly also inferior voice 
material, spoiled to some extent the impression made by the number. 
The result was discouragement, and Orpheus would probably have been 
among the dead, had not the question of organizing a purely Swedish 
singers' union risen after a schism in the Scandinavian union. Orpheus 
was one of the four Swedish clubs to leave the latter after the convention 
in New York, July, 1891, and one of the nine to organize at Chicago, the 
American Union of Swedish Singers on Thanksgiving Day, 1892. The 
slumbering interest awoke, and Orpheus began to practice for the festival 
chorus work of the Swedish sangerfest to be held in Chicago in connec- 
tion with the official "Swedish Days" at the World's Columbian Exposi- 
tion, in 1893. Orpheus took an honored part in the festival, appearing 
there with a band of its own, "Svea Band," with which organization it 
had then for a couple of years co-operated in public entertainments. In 
the great Swedish parade at the exposition, Orpheus, with its silk banner 
of blue and yellow, carried by John Wicklund, for many years its secre- 
tary, and preceded by "Svea Band." opened the endless procession. 

In the spring of 1894, Orpheus established a social club in connec- 
tion with its musical activity, taking pleasant quarters on the corner of 
Washington and First Avenue, South, many years previously occupied by 
the Norden Society. About one hundred passive members were received 
and a ladies' auxiliary society and a dramatic club were organized. This 
was one of the most active and glorious periods of Orpheus' existence. 
Director Oberg had died in 1894. He was succeeded in turn by Gustavus 
Johnson, August Ohman and the younger Scheibe. But now an experi- 
enced tenor singer and quartet director, Hugo HuUman, took charge, and 
reducing the number of singers to sixteen, to obtain vocal balance, he 
soon began to make wonders with this small chorus. There had never 
before been such strong harmony, such ring or such fine phrasing to the 
song of the Orpheus boys as from 1895, on. The singers assisted splen- 
didly in the performances given by the Orpheus Dramatic Club, which, 
instructed first by Edwin Bjorkman and later by Emma Nilsson, several 
times appeared in plays, with or without incidental music, written by 
Swedish authors, August Blanche, Frans Hedberg, Gustaf af Geijerstam, 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 109 

at the Metropolitan and Lyceum theaters. Another organization which 
sprung up under the wings of the Orpheus was the "Amphion Quartet 
Club," consisting of Emma and Bertha Nilsson, Hugo Hullman and Nils 
Lowenmark, the last mentioned one of the basses of the Lutteman 
Sextette. This, one of the finest mixed quartets ever in existence among 
the Swedes of America, made a successful concert tour through western 
and southern ^Minnesota in 1896. 

Dr. Victor Nilsson, who has been the president or the secretary of 
Orpheus ever since his first term of treasurer ended, in 1892 began 
his activity as impresario of Swedish musical artists, and his club for this 
reason became the first organization which conducted the concerts in the 
northwest of Caroline Ostberg, Carl Fredrik Lundquist, Johannes Elm- 
blad, Anna Hellstrom-Oscar, John Forsell, Martin Oscar, all of the Royal 
Opera of Stockholm, and also of Jennie Norelli, Olof Valley, Emma 
Meissner, Rosa Gruenberg, Anna Lundberg and others. Thus were 
aroused interest and admiration for Swedish song and Swedish singers 
among the Americans and music lovers of all nationalities, most of these 
appearances being advertised on a large scale and with splendid results 
in every respect. Also, the Minneapolis appearances of the Lund Student 
Chorus and the Swedish Y. M. C. A. Chorus from Stockholm were 
arranged by Orpheus. 

When Orpheus was at the summit of its achievement, suddenly closed 
the first period of its grandeur. At the unveiling of the model for a 
monument to Ole Bull, on May 17, 1896, a singing contest between 
various Scandinavian singing clubs was arranged. Audience and press 
gave the first prize to Orpheus, but the jury awarded it only second 
prize. This caused discouragement and discontent. Soon afterward 
Hugo Hullman was stricken by a mortal illness, and several of the singers 
m.oved away to other cities. The Orpheus club was therefore disorganized 
and rehearsals ceased. 

The majority of singers, however, soon began practicing with the 
Unga Svea, a singing society organized among Swedish Good Templars. 
John and Olof Bjorkman were the enthusiastic leading tenors and officers 
of this club, which had for leader a very able Norwegian chorus director 
and violinist, Professor Eric Oulie. Unga Svea was organized in the fall 
of 1892, and at once joined the American Union of Swedish Singers, 
then just organizing. The society took an active part in the Swedish 
festivals at Chicago in 1893, at New York in 1897, and at Rockford in 



no SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

1899. One of its singers, Charles Johnson, and one of the Orpheus 
singers, Dr. Mctor Nilsson, took part in the famous concert trip to 
Sweden, arranged during King Oscar ll's jubilee exposition, in 1897, 
as members of the concert chorus, the latter also in the capacit}- of 
official speaker for the singers. Unga Svea passed through a period of 
reaction, and when in the spring of 1900 a splendid young Swedish- 
American musician and singer, Professor Charles Swenson, settled in 
Minneapolis, it was decided to unite the Orpheus and Unga Svea forces 
with new material and to reorganize. The singing club now springing 
into existence was found to contain all the strong energies of the most 
famous of the clubs, so it was named Orpheus. Dr. Victor Nilsson was 
elected its president, John Bjorkman vice president, Fred Sabom treas- 
urer, and Axel Anderson secretary. In a short time Charles Swenson 
made the new Orpheus sing as hardly even did the old, in the days of its 
zenith. An enthusiastic attendance of the Swedish sangerfest in James- 
town, 1901, brought Orpheus back to ^Minneapolis with the responsibility 
of arranging for a festival for the western branch of the American Union 
of Swedish Singers in the summer of 1903. Never has enterprise of this 
kind been arranged upon such a comprehensive scale of newspaper notices 
and advertising as the third Minneapolis festival. The executive com- 
mittee consisted of three Orpheus members, Axel Anderson president, 
John Bjorkman treasurer, and Dr. Victor Nilsson secretary, who con- 
ceived and conducted the plans for everything, ably and disinterestedly 
assisted by large and numerous committees, the leaders and chairmen 
of which were Col. C. A. Smith, August Ekman, A. P. Darelius, Fred 
Sabom and G. W. Olson. Every church and society among the Swedes 
were made to take interest, all of musical ]\Iinneapolis and half of the 
Swedish Chicago and northwest attended the concerts and banquet given 
in the exposition building and the outing at Spring Park, Lake Alinne- 
tonka. The clubs which participated were fine, the festival chorus excel- 
lent, the soloists, Mme. Anna Hellstrom-Oscar and Herr John Forsell, 
specially engaged for the occasion, beyond compare. The new Orpheus 
has been as active as the old in every possible direction of Swedish musical 
culture or promotion. In the fall of 1902, at the death of the beloved 
Swedish composer of that name, the Gunnar Wennerberg Memorial 
Chorus was organized by Orpheus, with a membership consisting of all 
Swedish church choruses and singing societies in the city. Year after 
3'ear this new mixed chorus, with an adjunct male chorus gave concerts 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA in 

of the first magnitude for charity, notably for the Swedish Hospital of 
Minneapolis and the famine sufferers in Norrland. When in 1905 Pro- 
fessor J, Victor Bergquist was to produce his oratorio "Golgata" for the 
first time, Orpheus took the leading part in organizing the mixed chorus. 
When in the previous year the New York Symphony Orchestra was to 
give Wagner's festival music drama "Parsifal" in concert form, and 
when the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra was to inaugurate the new 
Auditorium in collaboration w'ith the Philharmonic Club, the Orpheus 
formed the nucleus of the male chorus. 

In 1904 Orpheus lost Charles Swenson as its leader, who left to open 
a school of music in Eureka, California. Since that year it has been 
successfully directed by J. A'ictor Bergquist, Claude ]\Iadden, Hjalmar 
Nilsson, O. Valline and John S. Osterberg. The last mentioned, its 
present director, a well-known tenor singer, came from Providence, 
Rhode Island, in 1908. 

The social affairs arranged by the Orpheus have always borne a high 
reputation for gaiety and spirituality, linked to solid musical enjoyment. 
Especially have its Christmas parties been highly appreciated by young 
and old. At the one celebrated on Christmas, 1909, Orpheus commemor- 
ated the twentieth anniversary of its organization, and it was then made 
evident that the club possesses a richer material of voices than ever before, 
under the direction of an able leader. The present number of singers is 
twenty- four, and the officers are: Olof Bjorkman, president; E. J. Thur- 
nell, vice president; C. O. Lindsten, treasurer; and Dr. Victor Nilsson, 
secretary. 

Tenor material has always been noticeably scarce in Minneapolis, 
for which reason every new attempt to establish a male chorus was more 
or less looked upon as made in direct opposition to the one so long in 
existence. But, as the Swedish population increased, the opportunity 
arose for several organizations to flourish side by side, without detriment 
to each other. The first, Unga Svea, has already been mentioned. The 
male voice section of the Gunnar Wennerberg Memorial Chorus thought 
it expedient to make more permanent and lasting the work it had been 
accomplishing with the mixed chorus and organized in 1904, becoming 
a member of the American Union of Swedish Singers, and later changing 
its name to Svea ]\Iale Chorus. John O. Ericson is the life and fibre 
of this society, which, first conducted by Albin Ogren, a tenor baritone 
and vocal teacher of unusual endowment, now has for director. Professor 



112 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Peter R, IMelin of Minnesota College. Another singing society that for 
some time belonged to the American Union of Swedish Singers was 
Gustaf Adolf, reared within the circles of the social society of the same 
name. Later it had an independent organization of thirty-five voices, and 
in Henry Anderson possessed a devoted and energetic director. In the 
spring of 1909, with the best voices of this larger chorus as a nucleus, 
Mr. Anderson organized another singing club, The Lyric, whose director 
he is. 

There has always been a tendency in the Twin Cities among some 
of the more experienced quartet singers to gather a few of the best voices 
into a club for the special cultivation of lyrical or quartet music, in a 
narrower sense than a larger society could with care, or true refinement, 
produce. Of these are the Swedish Quartet Club of Minneapolis 
(1891-2), and the Vasa Club of St. Paul, of a somewhat later period. 
The most lasting of them all is the Arpi Club, the origin of which can be 
traced back to the students of Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter. In 
Center City, with the amiable and musical giant, Albert Berg, later secre- 
tary of state, as second bass and promoter, it blossomed and bloomed, 
John F. Dahl, tenor ; J. A. Swenson, baritone ; Karl Kriedt, tenor, being 
some of its leading members. This all was in the early nineties. Later, 
when his Excellency, Albert Berg, had moved into the Capitol at St. Paul, 
and John F. Dahl had become one of the busiest men in Minneapolis, as 
assistant county attorney, Oscar Anderson, a St. Paul tenor singer with 
a charming voice, and Professor Charles Swenson of Minneapolis, both 
still connected with the Orpheus, became its leading first and second 
tenors. To take a more active part in the Swedish sangerfest, held at 
Minneapolis in 1903, the Arpi Club was enlarged to embrace about a 
dozen voices, electing as leader Hjalmar Nilsson, then lately arrived from 
Worcester, Mass., where he had for many years done distinguished 
service as a male chorus director. The Arpi, then principally a St. Paul 
organization, on that occasion did not succeed better with its solo appear- 
ance in one of the festival concerts, than did Orpheus in 1891, but has 
made up for it by a large number of later appearances. The Arpi was 
discouraged and rehearsals ceased. But in 1907 a new club was reor- 
ganized, still with Oscar Anderson as leading tenor and Hjalmar Nilsson 
as director. The new Arpi Glee Club has otherwise nothing in common 
with the older organization than to cultivate quartet singing with select 
voices. Its president is Harry Lund ; vice president, Ruben Edquist ; sec- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 113 

retary, Fred Sabom, and treasurer, J. J. Graaf. The club has gathered a 
large passive membership and has been very successful musically, socially 
and financially. 

Minneapolis naturally has a large number of musicians of Swedish 
birth, some of whom direct smaller or larger organizations. The most 
prominent among such instrumental organizations was for many years 
Svea :\Iilitary Band, which sprang into existence in the year of 1884. 
The list of directors who have swung a baton over the plucky band boys 
reads like an inventory of all the good bandmasters of the community, 
during the last twenty-five years : W. W. Sidwell ; Oscar Ringwall, of 
the famous Stockholm family of military musicians, and one of the finest 
clarinetists in the land; A. Nordstrom, August Wennerstrom, A. M. 
Anderson, Herman Fisher, Gustaf Schubert, J. H. Watson, Geo. Seibert, 
J. A. Norling and Alfred Ekman. Of Swedish artists who have lived and 
worked in ^Minneapolis, besides those mentioned above, there are Gustaf 
Holmquist, prominent oratorio and ballad singer, now of Chicago ; Miss 
Esther Osborn, soprano singer of the Royal Opera of Stockholm ; Franz 
Zedeler, violinist and member of the ^Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra; 
Clarence W^armelin, eminent young clarinetist, and a great number of 
promising young lady pianists. A very valuable addition to the teaching 
forces of Minneapolis musicians has recently been made in the person of 
Mrs. Agnes Staberg-Hall, soprano singer and teacher of note. A singer 
who has never enjoyed professional training, but whose sympathetic bari- 
tone voice has won for him many admirers, is Knut O. Ekman, with his 
brother August Ekman, for many years member and officer of the 
Orpheus, but recently removed to British Columbia. The tenor of the Uni- 
versity Quartet and member and business manager of the University Choral 
Union was, during the years 1894-8, Clarence J. Zintheo, also a tenor of 
Orpheus and now a resident of Seattle, president of the United Swedish 
Singers of the Pacific Coast during the Seattle exposition and the Swedish 
sangerfest held in connection with it. The Swedish-Americans of St. 
Paul number several very prominent musicians of Swedish birth, like 
Justus Lundberg. the eminent pianist ; 2vlrs. Inga Olund, soprano singer 
and vocal teacher; Emil Anderson, violinist and baritone singer, and O. 
Valline, organist, choral director and musical theorist, the Nestor of them 
all. An amateur singer with a beautiful voice, for many years very 
prominent in the church quartets and choirs of St. Paul, is August 
Nilsson. 



114 SWEDISH-AMERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

Because there have not been any large musical festivals arranged 
by Swedes, and because our nationality is not there quite so strongly 
represented as in the neighboring city, the Swedish musical organizations 
of St. Paul are not so many or important as in Minneapolis. Yet there 
is one which has contributed much to the making of a name for Swedish 
song and music, and that is the Vega Singing Society. In 1882, the 
Vega Quartet was organized by August Ohman, John E. Landin, O. F. 
Peterson and Elis Newstrom. It was on November 1st at Feifer's Hall. 
The quartet, in 1887, was reorganized as the Harmoni Chorus which, 
six months later changed its name to Par Bricole, and elected Oliver C. 
Nordstrom as leader. The singing society, in 1889, obtained a stronger 
organization by joining with the Vega Society, adopting the name Vega 
Singing Society. Director O. Valline was made leader in 1890, and has 
remained in that position for twenty years, still holding the respect and 
love of all the singers. Vega Singing Society was a member of the 
United Scandinavian Singers of America, and since its formation, of the 
American Union of Swedish Singers, taking an active part in half a 
dozen sangerfests and repeatedly aiding and being aided by the Orpheus 
of Minneapolis, in concerts held jointly. Vega Singing Society is one in 
which the spirit of brotherhood and discipline strongly prevails, causing 
it to successfully meet many a crisis. Of the original set of officers O. 
F. Peterson was president, Alfred Fredlund secretary. A beloved mem- 
ber, several times president, passed away some years ago with H. N. 

Claus. 

In Duluth, where at one time two Swedish singers of note were 
active as vocal teachers (Mrs. Lydia Ohrstrom-Renard and Mrs. Inga 
Olund), much has always been done in the interest of Swedish musical 
culture. There are two active Swedish singing societies in that city — 
Svea Glee Club and the Orpheus Chorus. On April 12, 1895, a society 
was organized in Duluth under the name of Swedish Glee Club. For 
that purpose and through the local Swedish paper, Charles Mack and 
Victor Brandt had called a meeting of resident Swedish singers. About 
forty people were present, who all signed themselves as members of the 
club. Charles Mack was elected president, Victor Brandt secretary, 
August Larson treasurer, A. Lundmark financial secretary, and G. 
Dahlstorm director. The club appeared from the start to have a bright 
future before it. Thanks to the energetic labors of the director, the club 
was able to sing with credit at an excursion to Two Harbors in the month 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 115 

of August, that same year. The club, which had joined the American 
Union of Swedish Singers, progressed steadily, and in the spring of 
1896 gave a concert, jointly with the Lutteman Sextet of Sweden, at the 
Grand Opera House, Superior. The financial crisis had its disastrous 
influence. Many of the singers moved away from Duluth, and at last 
only a sextet remained. At this time a society had been organized in 
Superior called Svea Singing Club, with Frank Ponth as leader. Its 
advancement, musically, was rapid. The question of a consolidation 
arose, and the almost defunct Duluth club joined the prosperous Superior 
organization. Thus was created the Svea Glee Club of Duluth and 
Superior, which, under the energetic baton of young Professor Helmer, 
was soon to attract much favorable attention. The club has been active 
in arranging contests with a local Norwegian club and the Arpi Glee 
Club of Minneapolis, and always comes out with real credit, if not with 
the first prize. Charles Forsell is a leading member of the club, and at 
the convention in Moline was elected president of the western section of 
the American Union of Swedish Singers, which has announced a sanger- 
fest in Duluth for 1912. Richard and John Wallin, two brothers with 
deep bass voices, and formerly prominent members of the Unga Svea and 
Orpheus clubs of Minneapolis, are active members of the Svea Glee Club. 
The Orpheus Chorus of Duluth, was organized November 27, 1901, when 
the following officers were elected : Carl Johnson, president ; O. B. John- 
son, secretary; L. E. Melander, treasurer; Professor A. F. Lundholm, 
director. A. B. Welander was appointed business manager. The chorus 
comprised twenty members. The Orpheus of Duluth has always been 
characterized by pluck and energy, while it has remained faithful to its 
original leader. It has been ver>' successful in the arrangements of its 
concerts and has introduced to Duluth music lovers many Swedish artists 
of note. Orpheus is the proud owner of a fine corner lot in beautiful 
Lincoln Park, Duluth, where in the near future it intends to build an 
up-to-date clubhouse. The chorus now counts twenty-six members and 
is affiliated with the American Union of Swedish Singers. With Svea 
Glee Club it will share in the responsibilities of arranging a Swedish 
sangerfest in Duluth. 

In Stillwater there are a couple of Swedish musical organizations 
which have done their full share to interest connoisseurs of all nationalities 
in the song and music of the North. The Balder Chorus was organized 
in 1902, as a member of the American Union of Swedish Singers. Few 



ii6 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

choruses have been built of as good material from basses to tenors. For 
about four years the chorus was under the able direction of C. C. Peter- 
son, and reached a degree of efficiency that was superior to anything 
before attained in the city of Stillwater by any organization. Balder 
formed part of the large chorus organized for the Mme. Hellstrom-Oscar 
concert in Minneapolis, which was given in August, 1904, during the 
second visit to this country of that distinguished artist. The original 
membership was as follows: E. A. Englin, Chas. E. Elmberg and Axel 
Johnson, first tenors ; Fred E. Holcombe and Alvin Olson, second tenors ; 
Frank J. Hallin and C. C. Peterson, first basses ; Axel Anderson, Oscar 
Anderson and Carl Bergland, second basses. One of the early, if not the 
first Swedish singing organizations in the St. Croix valley, was the 
Harmonia Glee Club, of 1891. This was a mixed chorus of ten voices, 
with C. C. Peterson, director, and Lizzie Erikson, accompanist. For 
over six years it existed with only a few changes in its standing member- 
ship of ten. This club formed the nucleus for a chorus of twenty-three 
voices that made part of the jubilee chorus at Minneapolis in 1893. Mrs. 
C. C. Peterson, Bessie Boo and Selma Holcombe were the first sopranos ; 
Carrie E. Smith and Lizzie Erikson, altos ; Fred E. Holcombe and Chas. 
E. Elmberg, tenors ; Ben Johnson, Adolph Anderson and C. C. Peterson, 
basses. 

The immeasurable influence for the good of musical culture emanat- 
ing from the churches, church societies and colleges, is not considered 
in this chapter, and mention of it must be looked for elsewhere in this 
work. But be it said here to the credit of leading ministers and congrega- 
tions throughout Minnesota, that they have never been found wanting 
in noble enthusiasm and energy when they have been asked to introduce 
to Americans or Swedes some splendid Swedish artist or musical organiza- 
tion, or to support some grand musical festival. If there is anything 
that Swedish-Americans of all beliefs own in common, it is an ardent 
love for Swedish sons:. 



Victor Xilsson (who prepared the above article), doctor of philos- 
ophy, author and critic, was born Alarch 10, 1867, at Ostra Torp, Scania, 
Sweden. His father owned an estate on this, the southermost point of 
Sweden, but the family resided in Gothenburg from 1870 to 1885. His 
parents both were of the same stock of aboriginal Scanian landowners 
which has produced many men of note — like ]\Iajor A. Nilsson, his pater- 




VICTOR NILSSON. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 119 

nal uncle, city engineer of Malmo, and the creator of the harbor and park 
system of said city, and Professor T. Hartelius, his maternal grand- 
uncle, the recreator of the Ling gymnastic system. His father, John 
Nilsson, like his father before him, was a merchant and, as such, very 
active as a promoter of trade exchange of American and Swedish 
products. In 1885 the whole family moved to America, settling in St. 
Paul where its head, who had engaged in the real estate and land business, 
died two years later. Young Nilsson had received a carefully supervised 
college education at the Reuterschiold grammar school and the Higher 
Latin College of Gothenburg, supplemented by much private instruction 
and university extension courses at the then newly founded City Univer- 
sity of Gothenburg. Immediately upon his arrival in St. Paul, young 
Nilsson obtained a position on the editorial staff of Minnesota Stats- 
tidning, the next year exchanging it for a similar one with Svenska 
Folkets Tidning. He remained in the latter until December, 1891, when 
he became editor-in-chief of Minnesota Posten of St. Paul. When this 
paper was sold about a year later, Nilsson accepted the offer to found 
a branch of the Minneapolis Public Library on the east side of the river, 
having charge of it from November 1, 1891, to January 1, 1903, when at 
the death of Magnus Lunnow he once more became one of the editors of 
Svenska Folkets Tidning, As such, Dr. Nilsson remained for four years, 
when he began to devote all his time to his interests as a musical critic, 
publisher and manager. His spare time, when in the employ of the city, 
he had spent in study at the University of Minnesota, where he registered 
for the philosophical degree in the fall of 1894. A year later he passed 
the preliminary examination, and in the spring of 1897, the degree of 
Doctor of Philosophy was conferred upon him. Dr. Nilsson was the first 
man to obtain this degree from an American university, with the Scandi- 
navian languages, history and literature as a major line of study, and 
Old Norse, as a specialty. His minor lines were Romance and Teutonic 
philology. His doctor's thesis, published in 1898, was a scientific treatise 
on "Loddfafnismal," a section of the "Havamal" in the older Edda; it 
has been hailed by scholars on both sides of the Atlantic as a contribution 
to knowledge. In 1892, he published a book in Swedish, "Forenta 
Staternas Presidenter," which has been favorably reviewed, and in 1899 
Dr. Nilsson was the first Swedish scholar to write a complete history of 
the country of his birth in the English language. It is a volume of five 
hundred pages entitled "Sweden," and forms a part of the international 



120 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

series of histories published by Peter Fenelon ColHer of New York. The 
book, which is very widely circulated and much quoted, contains a com- 
plete history of the Swedish people from the earliest period down to the 
present time, and the presentation of recent events and cultural aspects, 
iespecially has been deemed masterly and critical. Dr. Nilsson has always 
been an enthusiastic admirer of Northern culture, especially of everything- 
pertaining to literature, art and music, and on all these subjects has 
contributed critical writings to the Swedish-American and Anglo-Ameri- 
can journals and magazines. He possesses a fine literary judgment and 
as a critic outranks all other Scandinavian-Americans. For more than 
twenty years Dr. Nilsson has been very active as a reviewer of musical 
events in the daily and weekly press of Minneapolis, having been connec- 
ted with the Minneapolis Times, Minneapolis Journal and The Progress, 
and is universally considered the best musical critic of MinneapoHs. Since 
October, 1908, Dr. Nilsson has been the editor of The Progress, being its 
literary, musical and dramatic critic also. He is the editor and publisher 
of Musiktidning for Anierikas Svenskar, which he began to issue monthly 
January 1, 1906, as an organ of the American Union of Swedish Singers. 
Those who do not know Dr. Nilsson as a literary man know him in his 
capacity of an impresario, he having brought to this country for extended 
and highly successful tours Carl Fredrik Lundquist, Anna Hellstrom- 
Oscar, Johannes Elmblad, John Forsell, and Martin Oscar, all of the 
Royal Opera of Stockholm; Emma Meissner, Rosa Gruenberg, Anna 
Lundberg, "Delsbostintan" and the Royal Kronoberg Regiment Band; 
also having arranged for appearances of a number of other singers, 
lecturers and musical organizations from Sweden. In the fall of 1889, 
Dr. Nilsson became one of the organizers of the Orpheus Singing Club, 
of which he has been an officer ever since. Of the Scandinavian sanger- 
fest in Minneapolis, in 1891, and the Swedish sangerfest held there in 
1903, Dr. Nilsson was secretary of the respective executive committees. 
He is a charter member of the American Union of Swedish Singers and 
served on its executive committees for the concert tours to Sweden, in 1897 
and 1910. He was the official speaker during the former tour and as such 
'carried the greetings from the Swedes of America to their old home and 
country on the festival occasions in Gothenburg, Lund, Linkoping, Stock- 
holm, etc. Dr. Nilsson has lectured much on topics pertaining to Scan- 
dinavian literature and has been often called upon to deliver addresses 
at hoiiie and in various other cities, being a fluent speaker both in Swedish 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 121 

and English. Dr. Nilsson is, beside his heart connection with the Orpheus 
Club, also a member of the Writers' League, the University Philological 
Association and the Odin Club of Minneapolis. Dr. Nilsson lost his 
mother, a highly gifted and popular woman, in 1908, and his youngest 
sister, Bertha Nilsson Best, singer and actress, a year later. He makes 
his home with his only surviving sister. Miss Emma Nilsson, formerly a 
singer of repute, but now devoted to her duties as librarian, in charge 
of the Franklin Avenue Public Library of Minneapolis. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

LAND CLAIMS, PIONEERS AND INDIANS. 

Future generations will inquire not only how this country appeared 
before the hand of civilized man had marred its virgin beauty, but how 
the first comers managed to live, to protect themselves from the elements 
and to procure the means of subsistence ; how they met the varied require- 
ments of civilization to which they had been accustomed, and with what 
resignation they dispensed with such as could not be had. If correctly 
told, it would be a tale of intense interest ; but it would require a master 
hand to draw a picture that would show the scene in all of its details — 
personal experience alone could fully unfold the tale. When a new-comer 
arrived, he first selected a location where he could make his future home ; 
and the question naturally arises, of whom did he get permission to 
occupy it? The answer might be given in the language usually used 
when defining political or civil rights — everybody was free to do as he 
pleased provided he did not interfere with his neighbor. When the gov- 
ernment had extinguished the Indian title, the land was subject to settle- 
ment, either before or after survey. The settler had no paper title, but 
simply the right of possession, which he got by moving onto and occupy- 
ing it. This gave him the right to hold it against all others till some one 
came with a better title, which better title could only be got by purchasing 
the fee of the government, when surveyed and brought into market. The 
right of possession thus obtained constituted what was called a claim. 
These were regarded as valid titles by the settlers, and were often sold, 
in some instances for large amounts. Pre-emption laws were passed at 
different times by congress, giving to claimants who had made certain 
specified improvements, the exclusive right to purchase the premises at the 
minimum price of $1.25 per acre; provided, they would prove their pre- 
emption, and pay for the same before they were offered for sale by the 
government. The conditions required were possession or cultivation, 
and raising a crop, the amount of crop not being specified. A rail fence 

122 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 123 

of four lengths was often seen, especially on the prairie, the ground 
inclosed spaded over and sown with wheat. 

When settlers, by mistake, got a pre-emption on the same quarter- 
section, they were entitled to a claim of eighty acres more, to be selected 
by themselves ; they received a certificate of such claim, it being called a 
float, and was frequently laid on improvements, doing great injustice. 
But there was always an understanding among the settlers that each 
claimant should be protected in his claim, if he had no pre-emption, 
provided he would attend the sale when advertised, by proclamation of the 
President, bid the minimum price, and pay for it. The settlers usually 
attended the sale in a body, and although any person had a legal right to 
bid on any claim not pre-empted, and it had to be sold to the highest bid- 
der, it was not considered a safe thing to bid on a settler's claim, and it 
was seldom done. When attempted, the bidding speculator usually got 
roughly handled, and found discretion the better part of valor. Eastern 
speculators often complained of this, claiming that they were deprived 
of their legal right to compete in the open market for the purchase of 
these lands ; but the settlers replied that they had left the comforts of 
their old homes, braved the dangers and privations of a new country, 
and here made their homes, cultivating and reclaiming these wild lands 
and preparing the way for advancing civilization, and that they had a 
sacred right to the improvements, and the right to purchase the fee of the 
land, as the land and improvements must go together. And they were 
right. 

The fault lay in the government ever selling the land in any way 
except by pre-emption and to actual settlers. The government gained 
nothing by offering it at public sale, as the average price obtained, dur- 
ing a long term of years, was only $1.27 per acre, only 2 cents over 
the minimum price which would have been paid by actual settlers, not 
enough to pay the additional cost ; and the purchase by speculators en- 
hanced the price and retarded the settlement of the country, forcing the 
settler to live isolated, without society, schools or churches ; and it made 
the honest immigrant pay from $300 to $1,000 more for each 160 acres 
than the government price, and this went to the man who did nothing 
for the country, but sat in his eastern home and pocketed the amount. 
The claim question had a morality of its own, and while at a distance, 
and from a certain standpoint, it had the appearance of mob law, and 
was so stigmatized, here where it could be properly understood and 



124 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

appreciated it was sustained by the purest and best of men; not only 
so. but an actual settler was never known to oppose it. If ever an 
equitable and just right existed, it was that of a claimant pioneer to 
the land he occupied. 

The nomenclature was peculiar and expressive. When a man made 
a claim he was said to squat, and was called a squatter, and from that 
came the phrase "squatter sovereignty." When the claimant, left his 
claim the first occupant could have it. If he left it temporarily to visit 
his friends, or on business, and another embraced the opportunity to 
possess it, the latter was said to jump the claim. Each settlement usually 
had an association where such disputes were settled ; and the state 
enacted laws making claims transferable, notes given for claims valid, 
for protecting the claimant from encroachment . of others, and ousting 
jumpers. A claim jumper often found his way a hard road tO' travel. 

This, nomenclature was often expressly applied to other matters. 
If a young man paid marked attention to a young lady, he was said to 
have made a claim; if it was understood they were engaged, he was 
said to have a pre-emption, and if another cut hirn .out he was said to 
have jumped his claim. . . 

When the settler had selected his location, or made his claim, his 
first attention was directed to procuring a shelter for himself and family. 
If in the vicinity of others already provided, he was readily welcomed 
to share their scanty accommodations ; two and frequently three families 
together occupying a cabin with one room, perhaps twelve by fourteen 
feet, more or less. But if far removed from neighbors he had to occupy 
his covered wagon m which he came, sleeping in or under it, and cook- 
-ing and eating in the open air, or some other rude contrivance, frequently 
-a tent made of blankets, till a shelter could be provided. This was 
usually a log cabin, for raising of which help was needed. When help 
was not iavailable, his cabin must be built of such logs or poles as could 
be handled with the aid of his family. In raising a log cabin strength 
as much as skill is required. What were termed corner hands — one at 
each cofner, or where hands were scarce, one for two corners — should 
have some experience. The bottom log must be saddled or cut to a 
sloping edge, or angle, to receive the cross log, which must be notched 
to fit the saddle. A failure requiring the log to be taken out to be re- 
fitted, was sure to bring some pleasant raillery on the culprit. If well 
done, a door or window can be cut, and the parts of th_e logs will remain 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 125 

firm in their place, but if not a perfect fit, when a space is cut for the 
door, the accumulated weight from above will bring the logs not to fit 
at the corner and throw the ends at the cutting wide from their place. 
When the walls were completed, or about ten feet high, the gables were 
carried up by laying on logs, each shortened in succession, to give the 
proper slope for the roof, and held by straight logs, or large poles, 
placed about three feet from and parallel with the plate, rising upward 
to receive the shingles or boards, resting on and holding the short logs 
at the gables, and terminating with a ridge pole at the center of the 
building and top of the roof. On these were placed long boards or 
split logs, where shingles were not to be had. When there was any floor at 
all it was made of split logs hewn on the split side, and spotted onto the 
sleepers on the round side, so as to make a tolerably smooth surface; 
these were called puncheons. The chimney was built outside the build- 
ing at one end. A hole was cut through the logs for a fireplace. This 
was made of timber lined with stone or clay for four or five feet, and 
then with a crib of sticks plastered inside with clay mortar. The spaces 
between the logs were filled with pieces of split timber, called chinking, 
and plastered inside and out with clay mortar, making a warm and com- 
fortable house; but snow and rain, when falling with high wind, would 
get inside through the clapboard roof — and where leisure and means 
justified a roof of boards, or even sod was substituted. A one-post bed- 
stead was made as follows: Bore a hole in the log four feet from the 
corner of the room, and insert a rail six feet long; then bore a hole in 
the other side of the room six feet from the same corner, and insert the 
opposite ends of these rails where they meet, in a post, which completes 
the frame; then lay slats crosswise from the side to the log opposite, 
or to a rail pinned on the log at the proper height, and the one-post 
bedstead is complete, on which the weary pioneer slept as sweetly, or 
more so, than we now do in gilded springbeds with eider-down pillows. 
These rough cabins were quite comfortable and many witnessed much 
of real enjoyment. Some of America's greatest men were born and 
raised in such a dwelling. 

A shelter provided, the next thing was to prepare to raise whereon 
to subsist. The prairie region offered advantages for an occupant far 
superior to a timbered country ; in the latter an immense amount of 
labor had to be done to clear the timbers, and fon years the stumps 
prevented free cultivation ; while on the prairie the sod had to be turned 



126 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

and the crop put in. It was found that the best time to break the sod 
was when the grass was rapidly growing, as it would then decay quickly, 
and the soil soon be mellow and kind ; but if broken too early or too 
late in the season it would require two or three years to become as mel- 
low as it would in three months when broken at the right time. Very 
shallow plowing required less team, and would mellow much sooner than 
deep breaking. The first crop was mostly corn, planted by cutting a 
gash into the inverted sod, dropping the corn, and closing it by another 
blow alongside the first. Or, it was dropped into every third furrow 
and the furrow turned on ; if the corn was so placed as to find the space 
between the furrows, it would find daylight ; if not, it was doubtful. 
Corn so planted would, as cultivation was impossible, produce a partial 
crop, sometimes a full one. Prairie sod turned in June would be in 
condition to sow with wheat in September, or to put in with corn or 
oats the spring following. After the first crop the soil was kind, and 
produced any crop suited to the climate. But when his crops were grow- 
ing the settler was not relieved from toil. His chickens must have shelter 
and be closed in at night to protect them from the owls and wolves ; 
his pigs required equal protection ; and although his cows and oxen 
roamed on the wild prairie in profusion of the richest pasture, still a 
yard must be made for his cows at night, and his calves by day. The 
cows were turned in with the calves for a short time at night, and then 
the calves turned on the prairies to feed during the night. In the 
morning the calves were turned in and the cows turned out for their 
day's pasture ; this was necessary to induce the cows to come up at night, 
for if the calves were weaned the cows would fail to come. And the 
stock all needed some protection from the fierce wintry blasts, though 
sometimes they got but little. Add to this the fencing of the farm, the 
outbreedings, hunting the oxen and cows on the limitless prairies through 
the heavy dews of late evening and early m.orning, going long distances 
to market and to mill, aiding a new-comer to build his cabin, fighting 
the prairie fires which swept over the country yearly, and with his 
family encountering that pest of a new country, the fever and ague and 
other malarious diseases, and the toil and endurance of a settler in a 
new country may be partially, but not fully appreciated. All this taxed 
the energies of the new settler to the extent of human endurance, and 
many fell by the way, unable to meet the demands upon their energies. 
The wonder is that so much has been accomplished; that so many 



SWEDISH'AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 127 

comforts, conveniences and luxuries have crowned the efforts of our 
people; that we have reached a point for which a couple of cen- 
turies might well have been allowed. It is the toil of those sturdy 
farmers that has made their farms increase manifold in price; their 
toil has clothed them with valuable improvements, planted orchards and 
fruit gardens, made roads and bridges, converted a wilderness into a 
land of beauty, and made it the happy abode of intelligent men. All 
this had to be done to make these farms advance in price, and those who 
have done this and raised and educated their families have done well; 
and if the advance in the price of their farms has given them a compe- 
tence and independence it is what they anticipated and nothing but per- 
severing industry and frugality would have accomplished it. 

In addition to the labor and multitudes of cares that beset the new- 
comer, he had to accomplish all of it under disadvantages, and to en- 
counter dangers that of themselves were sufficient to discourage men 
not of stern resolve. Traveling unworked roads and crossing streams 
without bridges was often a perilous adventure. Many were the hair- 
breadth escapes which most of the early settlers could recall and which 
in later years were never referred to without a thrill of emotion. It was 
a common remark in some parts of the state that when a man left home 
in the morning, it was very uncertain whether his wife's next dress 
would be a black one or of some other color. Crossing the wide prairie 
at night with not even the winds or stars for guides, was a ver>' uncertain 
adventure, and often the wayfarer traveled till exhausted and encamped 
till the morning light came to guide him on his w-ay. In warm weather, 
although an unpleasant exposure, this was not a dangerous one ; and 
although the sensation of being lost is more irksome and the lonely 
silence in the middle of a prairie, broken only by the howl of the wolves, 
is more unpleasant than one inexperienced would imagine, and the 
gnawing of a stomach innocent of supper adds much to the discomfort, 
it all passes with the night, and a brighter view and happier feeling 
dawns with the breaking morn. But crossing the trackless prairie when 
covered with a dreary expanse of snow, with the fierce, unbroken wintry 
blasts sweeping over its glistening surface, penetrating to the very mar- 
row, was sometimes a fearful and dangerous experience. No condition 
could inspire a more perfect idea of lonely desolation, of entire dis- 
comfort, of helplessness and of dismal forebodings, than to find one's 
self lost on the snow-covered prairie, with no object in sight in any 



128 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

direction but the cold, undulating snow wreaths, and a dark, tempest- 
uous winter night fast closing around his chilled and exhausted frame. 
His sagacious horse, by spasmodic efforts and continuous neighing, shows 
that, with his master, he appreciates the danger, and shares his fearful 
anticipations. With what longing the lost one reflects on the cosy fire- 
side of his warm cabin, surrounded by his loved ones, which he fears 
he may never see; and when the dark shadow of night has closed 
around and shut in the landscape, and chance alone can bring relief, 
a joyous neigh and a powerful spring from his noble horse calls his eye 
in the direction he has taken, he sees over the bleak expanse a faint light 
in the distance, toward which his horse is bounding with accelerated 
speed, equally with his master cheered and exhilarated by the beacon 
light, which the hand of affection has placed at the window to lead the 
lost one to his home. Nearly every early settler has had some such ex- 
perience, while some never reached the home they sought, but, chilled 
to a painless slumber, found the sleep that knows no waking. 

Not the least of the dangers experienced by the old-timers was 
the prairie blizzard, thus noted by a Swedish pioneer: "We had loaded 
our sleigh with wood and started for home when a big storm came up. 
We knew that a newcomer had recently settled near where we were, 
and, knowing that it would be impossible to get home in such a storm 
we set out to find him. With our load of wood and the oxen we tum- 
bled around in the snow until we ran into a haystack of about three 
loads. Adjoining the haystack was a hole in the ground, where a cow 
stood fairly well covered with brush and hay. We took our oxen up 
to the stack and went to look for shelter for ourselves. We finally 
located another hole in the ground on a little knoll, where a few win- 
dows and a door indicated that it was a human habitation. It was, in- 
deed, a miserable home, but we were glad for having found it, and 
went in. The wife was home alone, her husband having started out 
for the nearest neighbor to borrow a little meal, for they had nothing to 
eat in the house. We warmed up a little and asked her what we could 
do w'ith our oxen. She said she knew of no place unless we could get 
them into the cellar where we were, but added that the door was prob- 
ably too small. We measured the door and went out to the haystack, 
but found our oxen gone. We thought that they were lost to us for- 
ever. Heartbroken we returned to the cellar. There was not a stick 
or piece of wood to burn, and it was uncomfortably cold. As a last 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 129 

resort we broke the cradle to make a little fire, and with this the woman 
baked a few pancakes out of middling meal and divided them between 
us and the children. I asked her whether she and the children were not 
very hungry. She said they were, but that it had been worst the first 
day, for afterward they became so weak that they did not mind it much. 
But it was worst for the children. They begged and implored for some- 
thing to eat; and besides it was so cold that they had to keep to their 
beds most of the time. 

Water was all we could get, and this had to be melted from snow, 
and for fuel there was nothing but the furniture. We were there for three 
days before the storm moderated enough to enable us to go out and 
look for our oxen. We found them frozen to death a distance from 
where we had left them. We were thankful to God that He had led 
our steps to a shelter, for many a man lost his life in this storm." 

It may be added that one of the little children mentioned in this 
sketch later became a prominent politician and State Senator. 

Jacob Fahlstrom was without doubt the first Swede who ever set 
eyes on Minnesota. His history sounds like a romance but is, never- 
theless, true. He was born in Stockholm, July 25, 1795, where his 
father was a well-to-do potter and merchant. At the age of twelve his 
Viking blood commenced to run high and becoming a restless and ner- 
vous youth he was sent to sea as cabin boy on a vessel captained by an 
uncle of his. This ship was chartered with London as destination, its load 
being iron, lumber and tar. It was wrecked during a storm on the coast 
of England. The crew was saved, and with it Jacob came to London. He 
did not return to Sweden with the others but instead followed an expe- 
dition which Lord Selkirk was fitting out for Hudson Bay, Arrived 
there his adventurous mind found an ample field for roving excursions 
into the surrounding country. During one of these he went so far into 
the woods that he was lost and was unable to find his way back. He 
was besides caught in a rainstorm, and his ammunition became wet, so 
he could not use his gun. During his search for a way to return to the 
ship he only got farther away from it and his only means of subsistence 
were a few half-rotten fish on the shores of a lake. He drifted farther 
south and finally came upon an Indian camp of Chippewas which tribe 
took the lad up among themselves, and he continued to live among 
them for a number of years, finally marrying a Chippewa maiden. He 

9 



130 SWEDISH-AMERICx\XS OF MINNESOTA 

learned their language perfectly besides acquiring the English and 
French languages, as he soon secured employment at first with the 
Hudson Bay Company and later with the American Fur Company, 
During the latter employment he was sent to trade in furs with the In- 
dians around Lake Superior. He also made extensive travels, and his 
descendants assert that he even went west of the Rocky Mountains, 
which, however, seems less likely. It was during his association with 
the American Fur Company that he married Margaret, the daughter of 
Bungo, the head chief of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. It was 
said among the old Swedish settlers that his wife was a mixture of In- 
dian and Negro blood but this is emphatically denied by her children 
who show no trace of Negro blood. 

After his marriage Fahlstrom lived first at Leech Lake for two 
years and then at Lake Winnipeg one year. His next habitats were at 
Sandy Lake, Mississippi and Mille Lacs Lake and other places, all this 
time in the service of the American Fur Company for which he acted 
as trading agent. He finally came as far south as Fort Snelling. The 
first Americans who located in Minnesota, as Gen. H. H. Sibley, N. 
W. Kittson and others, who came here in 1832, said that Fahlstrom was 
here long before themselves and that he was at Fort Snelling already 
in 1827. At this fort he supported himself by supplying it with wood. 
He was also mail carrier for some years between Fort Snelling and 
Superior. 

During his roving life Fahlstrom had never forgotten the Godfear- 
ing and Christian education he had received in his home. The perils 
and vicissitudes, by which he was ever surrounded only made him come 
closer to his God, whose almighty assistance and protection he ardently 
invoked during his frequent prayers. He always carried with him a 
pocket Bible, a gift from his mother, which he read whenever he had 
time. Its well-worn leaves also testify to diligent usage. This Bible 
is kept by his descendants as a sacred relic, although none of them are 
able to read it, it being printed in the Swedish language. The existence 
of this Bible may explain to some degree the fact that Fahlstrom, during 
his long sojourn among strangers, did not altogether forget his native 
language, although he had no intercourse with his countrymen for half 
a century. About 1836 he seems to have been converted to the iSIetho- 
dist faith and became a member of the IMethodist church at Fort Snel- 
ling. A more active and religious zeal from now on animated him, 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 131 

and he commenced to do missionary work among the Chippewa In- 
dians. He made several missionary voyages among them around the 
upper J^Iississippi and Lake Superior, sometimes alone, at other times 
accompanied by other misionaries, whom he then served as a guide 
and interpreter. During one of these travels which he made alone and 
on foot, he was obliged to camp several nights in the wild forest, as he 
was unable to reach any human habitation. With his snow shoes he 
would scratch away enough snow to make place for a fire and restmg 
place. He always carried with him a good-sized pail, in which he cooked 
the fowls he happened to kill with his gun on the way. One night he 
had enjoyed such a repast and sweeping around himself his blanket he 
went to sleep near the fire, paying no attention to the howling of the wolves 
and other wild beasts of the wilderness. On awakening the following 
morning he commenced to look for his pail containing the rests from his 
supper which he expected to warm up for breakfast. But the rests were 
gone together with the pail. In the snow he noticed the footprints of a 
wolf, and he then understood that such a prowling animal had eaten the 
food and in so doing probably had got the handle of the pail over its 
outstanding ears and being unable to rid itself of the pail had carried it 
away. The wolf must have had quite a meal, as a big chunk of salt pork, 
which Fahlstrom always used to carry with him, was also gone. With 
gun in hand Fahlstrom tried to follow the wolf but to no avail. He was 
then many day's journey from his home and had to subsist on what 
game or fowl he was able to kill with his gun and which he broiled over 
the fire. 

Another time when Fahlstrom went on one of his missionary 
journeys, he traveled in a birch bark canoe on the Mississippi. One 
evening, when in the vicinity of Crow Wing, he was caught in a severe 
rainstorm which necessitated his seeking shelter. He landed, built a fire 
and pulled up his canoe on land turning it upside down. Under this 
improvised roof he soon fell sound asleep but was most unpleasantly 
disturbed by being surrounded on all sides by fire and flames. The canoe 
had caught fire, and it was only with the greatest difficulty that Fahl- 
str5m could save himself, his Bible and his gun. His Swedish Bible 
which was his steady companion during his missionary voyages, was 
partly scorched on this occasion, which can be noticed to this day. 

One time, when Fahlstrom was journeying to Sandy Lake, he stopped 
at a logging camp belonging to Elam Greeley, one of the oldest lumber- 



132 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

men on the St. Croix river. The evening was spent in singing and 
prayer with the lumbermen. A w'orkingman, who had gone outside on 
some errand, came in reporting that the place was surrounded by Indians, 
who seemed to be hostile and in all likelihood were intent on assaulting 
and killing the inmates during the night. Fahlstrom then went out and 
spoke to the Indians in the Chippewa tongue. A couple of them came 
forward and told him that their intention was to kill the workingmen to 
avenge several injustices which those had committed against the Indians, 
but when they had heard the singing, they understood that Fahlstrom 
was there, and they would do him no harm. Fahlstrom asked the Red- 
skins to go home and leave the workingmen alone, which they finally 
ao-reed to do. He was well known and exercised great influence over 
the Chippewas, who on account of his yellow hair called him "the Yellow 
Head." 

When Fahlstrom was carrying the mail from Fort Snelling to the 
upper St. Croix river and Lake Superior, it happened one time, when he 
was returning from Taylor's Falls coming down the St. Croix, that he 
noticed on the left shore of the river a band of Sioux Indians, 300 or 
400 strong, who were on the war path against the Chippewas. On seeing 
Fahlstrom in his boat on the river they fired a few shots at him, but 
w^hen he gave no sign of fear and turned his boat toward the shore where 
they were camping they ceased the shooting. Upon his landing the 
Indians met him, shook hands with him, declaring they were hungry, and 
asked if he had anything to give them to eat. Although he had only a 
little bread, what he had he gave them. At this occasion, he said later, he 
was really afraid lest the Sioux Indians, who were hostile towards the 
tribe among which he used to live, would kill him. But some of the 
warriors, who were acquainted with him, pacified the others and he was 
permitted to continue his journey without being molested. In their 
enthusiasm and gratitude for the bread given them the Indians danced 
in a ring around Fahlstrom, patting him on the shoulders and calling 
him "Jack." 

About 1 84 1 Fahlstrom moved to Washington county, on the place 
where Lakeland later was platted. He lived here about six years. When 
the land had been surveyed and put on the market, he took a claim in 
section 5, town 28, range 20, the present town of Afton, where he lived 
until his death in 1859. Fahlstrom is also said to have had a claim of 80 
acres where the business district of St. Paul is now located, but finding 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 133 

this land too hilly and never having an idea how valuable it was to become 
in the near future he gave up that claim. At one time he also owned 
the island covered with sugar maple in White Bear Lake, where his wife 
and children every spring busied themselves by making maple sugar — 
a work which is the delight of all Indian women. 

After 1850, when Swedish immigrants commenced to settle in Minne- 
sota at Chisago Lake, Marine and St. Paul, Fahlstrom paid them regular 
visits in their homes and held prayer meetings. Often he would walk, 
even in the worst kind of weather, the long distance from Afton to St. 
Paul on Sunday mornings in order to be on hand in time for Divine Ser- 
vice in the newly organized Swedish church. In his everyday life Fahl- 
strom was unassuming, kind and easily accessible, well liked among all 
with whom he came in contact, both whites and Indians. He died July 
29, 1859, 64 years of age and is buried near his last home where he had 
set apart a burial place for himself and family. His youngest son, George, 
took the old homestead, where also his widow and oldest daughter were 
living. The daughter is said to have been a woman of rare intellect and ac- 
complishments. She used to act as interpreter at the services and meetings, 
which the early missionaries conducted among the Sioux Indians at Red 
Rock. A grandson of Fahlstrom's, Isaac, served with the 5th Minnesota 
regiment during the Civil war, and died in the hospital at Washington, 
D. C. in 1865. 

The first Swede whom Fahlstrom ever met, since his arrival on this 
continent, was a tailor by the name of John Peterson. They met in St. 
Paul. Peterson accompanied Fahlstrom to his home in Afton and liked 
the land so well that he decided to make his home there. He moved 
there in 1852 and was the second Swede in that settlement. Peterson died 
during the Civil war during which he served as volunteer in the 6th 
Minnesota regiment. The same year as Peterson, or in 1852, came also 
Sven Rosenquist from Skane, who later moved to Wisconsin. Bengt Man- 
son came from Skane in 1853 in the company of Rev. Hedengran. Among 
other early Swedish settlers may be mentioned, Peter Peterson, John Piku- 
lell, Anders Manson, Bengt Arnberg, Jons Isberg, Alans Jonson, and 
others, who came there in 1853-1854. The land which was originally sold 
by the Government at $1.25 was bought by speculators, whom the immi- 
grants had to pay $6.00 to $8.00 per acre. Every bit of land in this vicinity 
is now settled and under cultivation. Swedish immigrants continued to 
come up to about 1870. There is said to be about 40 Swedish families in 



134 SWEDISH-A^IERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

this settlement most of them in the town of Afton, besides some in Wood- 
bury and Lakeland. The majority of them hail from Skane. 

About 20 Swedes from this settlement enlisted and served in the 
Civil war, mostly in the 3rd Minnesota regiment. Ola Hanson was killed 
in a skirmish near Helena, Arkansas, in which two companies of this 
regiment were engaged. That the fighting in this skirmish was rather 
hot is evidenced by the fact that one out of every nine was killed. The 
regiment was commanded by General Andrews who later became United 
States minister to Sweden and Norway. 

In this connection it may not be out of place to quote a couple of 
paragraphs from Captian Marryat's Travels and Adventures of Monsieur 
Violet : "Not one Indian who has been brought up at school, and among 
the pleasures and luxuries of a great city, has ever wished to make his 
dwelling among the pale faces : while, on the contrary, many thousands 
of white men, from the highest to the lowest stations in civilization, have 
embraced the life of the savage, remaining with and dying among them, 
although they might have accumulated wealth, and returned to their own 
country. 

'This appears strange, but is nevertheless true. Any intelligent trave- 
ler who has remained a few weeks in the wigwams of well-disposed In- 
dians, will acknowledge that the feeling was strong upon him even during 
so short a residence. What must it then be on those who have resided with 
the Indians for years?" 

Indian Character and Customs.— Accounts of Indian warfare, 
trade and treaties do not give an inside view of Indian character. One 
of the oldest settlers said that Indians were fond of athletic sports, and 
of contests with the whites in jumping, running, hopping, wrestling, etc. 
In wrestling they never tripped, and complained of unfairness when the 
whites did so. In all such contests they proved inferior to the whites in 
both strength and agility. This might indicate less vitality, and one cause 
of their rapid decadence. They were very fond of a trial of skill 
in shooting at a mark, and very proud of being victors. They would 
resort to a variety of devices to accomplish that object. When their 
opponents were taking aim, they would commence the most savage and 
unearthly yells for the purpose of unsteadying his nerves— an object 
they frequently accomplished. There was no trick they would hesitate 
to perpetrate. If they could get their competitor's rifle they would 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 135 

secretly strike the sight with their knives, moving it to one side, so as 
thereby to win the stake. They were not addicted to stealing, but would 
sometimes fall into temptation in that direction. 

Mr. Jonas Peterson had a mill, and frequently sold flour to the 
squaws. His practice was to sell by the handful, and after delivering 
the number agreed for, the squaws would invariably grab one handful 
more, for which he would sometimes box their ears ; they would be very 
angry and curse him roundly in the Indian jargon, when he would give 
them another handful to appease their wrath. They would at once call 
him good, good, and become the best of friends. They gleaned in the 
wheat fields, and, like Boaz of old, the owners would drop a little now 
and then for the gleaners. They frequently bought a few bimdles, but 
always came back dissatisfied, saying, "Big straw, little wheat." They 
were seldom satisfied with a trade, but would come back wanting some- 
thing more. There is no proof that this was innate; it doubtless resulted 
from being generally overreachexi in the bargains they made with the 
whites. 

They were usually fast friends, and never forgot a kindness. As a 
rule they were on the best terms with the settlers ; would sometimes 
come into the settlers' houses in the night and lie down by the fire, 
where they would be found in the morning. 

A settler of Chisago Lake stated that the first winter he was there, 
he was engaged in cutting and hewing timber for building purposes. 
The Indians would be around nearly every day, watching the process 
with apparently the deepest interest. They would speculate on the 
direction the tree would fall, while being cut, and when it fell they 
would seem to enjoy it hugely. They would then go to the stump and 
appear to admire the nice, smooth cutting of the white man's ax, so 
different from their rude instruments ; they would imitate with the hands 
the motion made with the ax, and the throwing of the chips by its 
action, which their instruments never did. They seemed to appreciate a 
fact, which from habit we fail to notice, that the white man's ax is one 
of the most efficient instruments ever invented by man. In the hands 
of experts it has cleaved a continent and prepared it for civilized occu- 
pancy and that with a speed and facility that no other agency could 
effect. The rapid and nice work of this tool could but attract the atten- 
tion of these simple savages. 

It mav be added that the settlers left their tools at night where 



136 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

they stopped work, and they were never molested, although the Indians 
were almost constantly there. If a kind, conciliating and just course 
had in all cases been pursued in our intercourse with this people, may 
we not suppose their ultimate destiny would have been different? 

When during the Black Hawk war, down in Illinois, Shabbona 
(White Man's Friend) accompanied the army under General Atkinson, 
and attack was expected soon to be made on the Sauks, Shabbona asked 
permission to spare a certain squaw, a friend to him. The general told 
him to spare all the women and children, but Shabbona dissented, saying, 
"They breed like lice ; leave them, their children will kill our children." 
That was Indian philosophy and morality, too. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE SWEDISH LUTHERAN CHURCH IN MINNESOTA. 

By Rev. G. Wahlund. 

In the early territorial days of Minnesota, about sixty years ago, 
when the first Swedish immigrants came to this, the summit of the 
central valley of America, they found in this wilderness a country and 
a climate resembling very much that of the fatherland. Here they de- 
cided to toil for the earthly treasures and blessings their imagination 
had portrayed before they undertook the lonesome and perilous journey. 
The fertile soil beneath the sod gave promises of rich harvests every 
year; the brushy hills suggested abundant vegetation in a generous sun- 
light ; the many rivers and lakes prophesied an inexhaustive yield of 
fish and a perpetual home of wild fowl, not to forget the water supply 
for increasing herds ; the bracing atmosphere, the freedom, glory and 
good will of the most liberal and popular government on earth — all this 
the plucky pioneers found as a reward for their incessant labors, courage 
and endurance ; such perseverance as has hardly been recorded even on 
pages of exaggerated fiction. Any chapter of Minnesota's history dedi- 
cated to the Swedish race will bear me out when I say that the Swedish 
immigrants have been equal to their opportunities and have gathered 
the earthly treasures by a strong arm. 

The early settler did not bring any wealth with him. If he is boun- 
tifully blessed now, he has found and earned it. His only treasure was 
the homely and often ill-fated trunk and its contents. The most precious 
and valuable personal articles contained therein were the Bible, a prayer 
book and a varied collection of Lutheran sermons. The sturdy Swede 
brought religion with him in his heart. The religion of his fathers 
and the faith of his childhood were endeared to him to a greater extent 
than the earthly goods. He cherished his Lutheran faith, and his first 
thought in the wilderness of the North was how to preserve and per- 
petuate this inherited treasure. 

137 



138 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

In conclusion, it may well be added that the Swedish pioneer did 
not find his Church waiting- for him. This applies to the whole of the 
United States as well as Minnesota. He brought it with him. The 
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Minnesota today is only a 
development of the faith transplanted in a new field. The new surround- 
ings have not been grafted to its doctrines, nor has existing conditions 
been made a part of its practicability ; the Lutheran sermons today are 
characterized by a tenacity which do not allow them to swerve from the 
text of the Gospel. 

Yet, the Lutheran Church is both conservative and liberal. I ven- 
ture to say that there is no church organization more worthy to exist 
under the protection of the Stars and Stripes than this religious body. 
The Lutheran communicants have been found to be the most orderly, 
law-abiding and prosperous in the state. The social, intellectual and 
industrial standard of Minnesota is to a great extent due to the large 
number of Lutherans throughout the commonwealth. 

The Conference. — The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran (Minnesota) 
Conference of the Augustana Synod was organized at Chisago Lake, 
October 8, 1858. The Rev. J. P. C. Boren (who died in 1865), was 
chosen president ; Rev. Erik Norelius, secretary, and Mr. O. Paulson of 
Carver, treasurer. Four ministers and a like number of delegates were 
present at the first meeting. The new Conference consisted of five min- 
isters, thirteen congregations and a communicant membership of about 
900, which in the past half century has multiplied more than fifty-fold. 

The Minnesota Conference was from the beginning a branch of the 
Northern Illinois Synod, a body composed of Lutheran churches of 
different nationalities. Before the final steps of organization were taken 
a Minnesota Synod was advocated by many, but this plan was dropped. 
Greater possibilities were found by other procedure. By that foresight, 
so necessary at the time, the Church was well rewarded by the organiza- 
tion of the Augustana Synod a few years later. Since that time the 
Minnesota Conference has been the strongest and most influential body 
in the Synod. 

The first Conference constitution was drawn up by the Rev. Dr. E. 
Norelius, who has been president of the Synod many terms. It is worthy 
of note that the first president of the Minnesota Conference was a lay- 
man and not an ordained minister. The beginning was on a small scale 
as can be proven by the collection taken at the first meeting, which 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 139 

amounted to $5.09. The closing remarks to the minutes of this first 
meeting contain the following significant declarations : "It is certain that 
we live in the days when all undertakings are on a small scale, yet every- 
thing enlarged has had a meager beginning and we are fully convinced 
that when the Lord is with us, we shall grow in strength inwardly as well 
as outwardly. It is our duty to be faithful producers; to hope, pray 
and labor for our beloved Zion's welfare among ourselves and posterity." 
These beautiful remarks bespeak evidence of the living faith and hope 
of those brethren, who launched the ^Minnesota Conference and wrote 
its first document. 

It is a well-known fact that the Swedish newcomer to this great 
republic has readily imbibed the true American spirit and willingly bowed 
not only to circumstances and bare necessities, but had also gladly adopted 
the customs and mariners characterizing Americans. If this is true in 
general, it is particularity true in the organization of the Lutheran Church 
and its afifairs. The pioneer ministers and laymen, who organized the 
first churches and wrote the organic act of the Minnesota Conference, 
were brought up and accustomed to the usages and traditions of the state 
church of the fatherland, but it is remarkable and well worth our sincere 
attention that they did not try to burden the new church organization 
in the new world with anything not essential to a true Evangelical Luth- 
eran Church. The Word of God and the unadulterated Lutheran faith 
covered the whole field for their ambitions and desires. The church gov- 
ernment, ordinances, etc., are, therefore, no imitations of foreign customs, 
but pure and simple Americanism from the beginning. 

The Lutheran Church has sincerely adhered to the faith of its fathers 
and so far has carefully guarded its sacred domains from unimportant 
and unnecessary relations. In this connection the Lutheran Church may 
be compared, for illustration, with the Catholic and Episcopalian Churches 
in this country. Both of the latter have brought to this land all pomp, 
traditions and customs of the Old World, and the Catholic is, even in this 
free country of ours, subject to a foreign potentate — the Pope in Rome. 

The organizers of the Swedish Lutheran Church in America were 
accustomed to bishops, canons and other high church dignitaries in the 
fatherland, but coming here such offices were dispensed with. They 
counted on the proposition that no one should be "greatest" in the early 
days of strife, and have maintained that declaration ever since. They 
took these words of the Master to heart: "He that is greatest among 



140 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

vou. let him be the younger ; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." 
This democratic spirit prevails in the church and is a chief asset for its 
maintenance and success, even if it has been a stumbling block for a few. 
In the old days "when the Conference could be carried around in 
a lumber wagon," three meetings were conducted annually. When the 
field became larger it was decided to have only two meetings every year. 
For the last fifteen years the Conference has met yearly. The hospitaUty 
of the Swedes is very well illustrated by the many urgent invitations ex- 
tended to the Conference every year for the conventions. The enter- 
tainment of the delegates has been of high order and when one congre- 
gation has been unable to properly care for the large number of visitors 
the neighboring community has aided. The harboring and entertainment 
of so many delegates and visitors has been a serious problem at many 
places. For that reason most of the meetings are held in the larger 
cities and the issue may finally lead to a division of the Conference, or 
a more limited and indirect representation. 

In 1883 the Conference celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary and 
the fortieth in 1898, both times at Chisago Lake, the place of organi- 
zation. In October, 1908, the golden jubilee, the fiftieth anniversary, 
was held in St. Paul and Minneapolis and the largest halls proved inad- 
equate for the audiences which gathered at the meetings and concerts. 
The preparations for this jubilee meeting were elaborate and on an ex- 
tensive scale. 

Territory, Statistics and Subdivisions. — The Swedish Evangeli- 
cal Church of the Minnesota Conference of the Augustana Synod, in- 
cludes the entire state of ^Minnesota, North and South Dakota, North- 
eastern Wisconsin, Alanitoba and a large area in Canada. As this his- 
tory is limited to the Swedes of ^Minnesota I will make only a brief 
mention of the Conference work outside of this state. Wisconsin has 
thirty-six churches, with 2,250 communicant members. South Dakota 
registers an equal number, with twenty-eight churches. North Dakota 
adds twenty-four churches and 1,400 communicants to the Conference, 
and Canada and Alanitoba contribute twenty-six churches, with about 
1,100 communicants. 

The Minnesota Conference has 1 14 congregations, with 7,000 com- 
municant members and 3,000 children outside of Minnesota. The Con- 
ference has enrolled about 43,000 adult members and more than 25,000 
children in the North Star State, a total of about 70,000 souls. By 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 141 

comparing the above figures with the ministerial acts outside of the con- 
gregations we find that an equally large number, if not larger, of non- 
members are indirectly connected with the church and ministered to by 
its pastors. There are more children of non-members baptized annually 
than those of the regular communicants. The Sunday schools show the 
same percentage. About 20,000 children attend Sunday schools, con- 
ducted by more than 2,000 teachers. And, it may be estimated conserva- 
tively that 100,000 Swedes in Minnesota listen to the Gospel preached 
from Lutheran pulpits every Sunday. 

The Conference church property is worth more than $2,000,000, 
which represents an outlay of about $40 for each communicant member. 
The church debt is less than $3 per communicant member. Three hun- 
dred and fifty-two congregations have church buildings and 159 main- 
tain parsonages. The annual expenses amount to about $500,000, or 
about $10 for each adult member. The regular contributions to insti- 
tutions of learning is estimated at $25,000 annually and other missions 
and charities receive about $25,000. These figures do not include con- 
tribution for new buildings, endowment funds, etc. The average sala- 
ries paid to ministers range from $700 to $1,000, which includes parson- 
ages in most cases. Very few ministers pay rent. In some instances 
salaries above $1,000 are paid and it may well be added that some of the 
pastors receive less than $700 from their congregations. The congre^-a- 
tions employ about 200 parochial school teachers two to four months 
every year and a volunteer army of 2,500 teach in the Sunday schools. 

The Conference is, for practical and missionary purposes, divided 
into eighteen mission districts. Their areas are fixed by the Conference, 
which also prescribes the powers and duties of each. Each mission dis- 
trict has a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer, as well as 
a statistician. As a rule each district meets once a month at the respec- 
tive places within said district. These meetings are held for the edifica- 
tion of the parishioners and to the encouragement of further activities 
of the Church and its missions. The occasions of such meetings are verit- 
able holidays in congregations and the faithful leave their duties to hear 
and take part in the discussions. The important business of the mission 
district is transacted at the annual meeting attended by all the ministers 
and one lay delegate from each congregation. The district cares for the 
vacant congregations and mission fields within its territory, supplies the 



142 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

pastors when occasions require it and is an advisory body to the Con- 
ference whenever needed. 

Pioneer Ministers of the Conference. — The arrangement of the 
names of the pioneers in this chapter is not a resuh of a biased and aho- 
gether logical selection, with a tinge of partiality. This chapter will con- 
tain the names of those men who were active in the work of the church 
before the seventies and who have rendered the Lutheran Church in 
Minnesota a continuous service during the greater part of their lives. 
First are the honored pioneer ministers called away by death. 

The Rev. J. P. C. Boren, who presided at the organization meeting 
of the Conference, was born in Boras, Sweden, in 1824. He was the 
first minister of the Synod and Conference to be called away to the eternal 
reward. He was pastor in Goodhue, Minnesota, and Stockholm, Wis- 
consin. He died March 21, 1865, and was buried in the Lutheran 
cemetery at Vasa, Minnesota. 

The Rev. J. Auslund, long identified with congregational and mission 
work in St. Paul and Minneapolis, was born in 1843 ^'""^ ordained min- 
ister in 1870. He labored in the Twin Cities until his death, April 26, 
1878. His activities have been rewarded by the wholesome condition of 
the Lutheran Church in his former field and his memory is still fresh 
in the memory of hundreds of parishioners throughout the Conference. 

The Rev. C. A. Hedengran, coming from the province of Skane, 
Sweden, arrived in the United States in 1852. In 1859 he accepted the 
charge of the congregation at Chisago Lake, where he worked thirteen 
years, after which his health failed him, causing his death October 31, 
1880, at the age of fifty-nine years. The Rev. Hedengran was a zealous 
worker. During his last years he became somewhat eccentric and suf- 
fered from melancholy. He wrote two pamphlets of an apologetic na- 
ture and another on eschatolog>'. His grave is marked in the Lutheran 
cemetery at Chisago Lake. 

The Rev. J. P. Lundblad was born 1829 in Lund, Sweden, and came 
to America in 1864 and was ordained two years later. He devoted much 
of his time in the large mission fields of ^Minnesota and other states as 
far as the Pacific Coast. He had charge of the congregation at Parkers 
Prairie many years, where he died February 25, 1900. 

The Rev. John Pehrson was born in Blekinge, Sweden, 1821, ar- 
rived in the United States in 1854 and was ordained minister in i860. 
He came to Minnesota in 1862 and served pastor of the congregations 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 143 

at Marine, Scandia Grove, and New Sweden. Since 1882 he served 
vacant congregations and mission fields temporarily. He was president 
of the Conference from 1866' to 1868. He died in St. Peter in 1901. 

The Rev. Andrew Jackson, D. D., was born in the province of 
Bohus, Sweden, in 1828, and was ordained in 1861. He was for a num- 
ber of years pastor at West Union and at the same time served as presi- 
dent of St. Ansgar's Academy, now Gustavus Adolphus College. He also 
held the offices of vice-president of the Augustana Synod and president 
of the Minnesota Conference. The activities of the Rev. Jackson were 
first directed to the smaller congregations in the country districts in the 
vicinity of New London. As such he became an historical figure of the 
state, as he served scattered congregations in hostile territory during 
the Indian ravages of 1862. Many of his parishioners were killed in 
ambush or on the battlefield, and at one time it seemed as if the fruits 
of the labors of the Rev. Jackson were to be destroyed by the warlike 
reds. Throughout all these trials he bore the burdens cheerfully. He 
was one of those meek pastors, beloved and honored by all. During his 
last years he had charge of the congregation at Rush Point, where he 
died July, 23, 1901. 

The Rev. P. A. Cederstam, D. D., was one of the most conspicuous 
figures among the pioneers of Minnesota. He was born in the province 
of Skane, Sweden, in 1830, and came to this country and to Minnesota 
in the early days of 1853. He was ordained in 1856. His first charge 
was at Chisago Lake during the years of 1855 and 1858. The following 
four years he labored in Marine. He next became missionary pastor 
in northeastern Minnesota (1870-72) and then assumed the pastorates 
at Taylor's Falls and Moore's Prairie. He moved to Kansas in 1882. His 
untiring work is well appreciated by members of the Church in Minne- 
sota and it is not uncommon to see his photograph adorn the most con- 
spicuous place in many homes. He served one year as president of the 
Conference and also headed the list of delegates to the State Constitu- 
tional Convention of 1857 in St. Paul. The Rev. Cederstam was self- 
sacrificing, plain and tender-hearted. He sacrificed himself totally in the 
service of his Master, his Church and countrymen. He died in Kansas 
in 1902. 

The Rev. John S. Nelson, born in Skane, Sweden, in 1829, came to 
Minnesota in 1854 and was ordained pastor in 1866. He organized 



144 ' SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

several congregations in Ottertail county and that neighborhood and 
served as pastor of several congregations from 1866 to 1893, when he 
retired from active service on account of poor health. Modesty was his 
chief characteristic but his wholeheartedness made his work recognized 
outside of his immediate field. He died April 11, 1904. 

The Rev. P. Sjoblom, D. D., was born in Halland, Sweden, in 1834, 
arrived in the United States in 1866 and was ordained the same year. 
He assumed charge of the congregation at Red Wing in 1869 and kept 
that charge seventeen years. He later became pastor of the congrega- 
tions at Brainerd and Fergus Falls and traveled a great deal in the mis- 
sion fields. He was pastor at Wakefield, Nebraska, for a short time and 
his last charge was at Bunnell, ISIinnesota. On account of poor health 
he retired from active work a few years before his death, which occurred 
at Minneapolis, January 24, 1909. Dr. Sjoblom was one of the most 
remarkable characters in the Augustana Synod. He was herculean in 
constitution, magnanimous in soul and big at heart. He was a thorough 
preacher, a convincing debater, a well versed parliamentarian and an 
ardent student of law and church government. The reverend doctor 
was known as an oral fighter on the floor of discussion, in church coun- 
cils and wherever sound Christian logic was a feature of the various 
meetings. He was a wise and conservative leader in the Church. For 
many years he served as president of the Conference. He was as con- 
spicuous in the press columns of the Church as on the floor. His issues 
were mostly theological, ethical and of ecclesiastic nature. He was also 
well posted on social questions. Strong and rigid in the strife for what 
he believed was right, he was also the most cheerful and affectionate as 
guest or host. Dr. Sjoblom has introduced and compiled most of the 
laws and measures for the Augustana Synod and the Minnesota Con- 
ference and their institutions. He may well be called the Solon of his 
Church. 

The Rev. P. Carlson was born in Smaland, Sweden, in 1822 and left 
his native land for America in 1854 and took up church work at once 
as lay-preacher. He was ordained in 1859 and was pastor in East and 
West Union for twenty-one years. During the next ten years he preached 
the Gospel for countrymen in the western states. During the years his 
health failed him he was chaplain at Immanuel Hospital, Omaha, Ne- 
braska. The Rev. Carlson was an ardent worker and covered a large 
mission field, where he made a lasting impression. He died in Omaha, 




I E. Noreliiis 
i. P. Sojblom 
3 P A. Cedersiam, 



4. Andrew Jackson 
$. P. J. Sward 
6. Jonas Auslund 



7. John Pehrjon 

8. John S. Nelson 

9. J. G. Lagerstrom 



P. Carlson 

C. A. Hedengran 

C, M. Ryden 



PIONEER LUTHERAN PREACHERS IN MINNEOSTA. 
(Reproduced from " Minnesskrift, " dedicated to the Fifty Years' Jubilee of the 

Minnesota Conference.) 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 147 

August 13, 1909, as he was approaching his eighty-seventh milestone, 
the highest mark attained by any minister of the Augustana Synod. 

Among the pioneer clergymen who are active in the work of the 
Conference today, natural precedence is given to the Rev. Dr. Erik 
Norelius, the venerable president of the Synod, also the oldest pastor 
in the Minnesota Conference, having been identified with the ministry 
since 1856. He was born in Hassela, province of Helsingland, Sweden, 
on the 6th of October, 1833, his parents being pious farmers, but with 
little faith in the advantages of a higher education. But young Norelius 
persuaded them to allow him to become a student at the Hudirksvall 
College for two years, and with more than an average educational equip- 
ment, but without definite plans for the future, at the age of seventeen 
he emigrated to the United States. From New York he proceeded to 
Chicago, where he met the well known Swedish pioneer, Rev. G. Unon- 
ius, who advised him to prepare for the Episcopal ministry at the Nash- 
otah, (Wisconsin) seminary, but, as all his traditions and inclinations 
favored Lutheranism, he concluded to finally consult the pioneer Swed- 
ish-Lutheran clergyman. Professor L. P. Esbjorn, who, he had learned, 
had settled at Andover, Henry county, Illinois. There the youth found 
the elder man, bravely pursuing his divine calling in poverty and sick- 
ness, but was kindly received and advised to enter Capital University, 
Columbus, Ohio, and take advantage of the standing oflFer of that insti- 
tution to support one poor Swedish student who desired to prepare for 
the Lutheran ministry. There he spent four years, spending his vaca- 
tions in such various lines of employment as farm work, wood chop- 
ping, selling books, teaching and preaching. During his last vacation 
he preached and taught at Chisago Lake, Minnesota. 

In 1855 Dr. Norelius was licensed to preach by the Evangelical 
Lutheran Synod of Northern Illinois, his assigned field being among the 
Swedes of Tippecanoe county, Indiana. But his countrymen in that 
locality found it impossible to buy the comparatively expensive land 
there, and, in 1855 many of them moved to Vasa, Goodhue county, Min- 
nesota, w^hither Mr. Norelius had located, joining the prosperous Swed- 
ish colony which had been founded some two years before by Colonel 
Hans Mattson. The young clergyman at once organized churches at 
Red Wing and Vasa, of which he became pastor when he was ordained 
in the following year. Revs. Norelius and P. A. Cederstam were at first 
the onlv Swedish Lutheran ministers in Minnesota, and the severity of 



148 



swedish-a:mericaxs of Minnesota 



their labors may be only imagined. In 1858 the former was elected 
county auditor of Goodhue county, but resigned soon after to become the 
editor of Hcmlandct, Chicago. He moved to Attica, Indiana, in 1859, 
on account of ill health; remained there for a year in charge of the 
Swedish Lutheran church, and in 1860 accepted a call as a traveling 
missionary in ]^Iinnesota. During the year which followed, it is safe 
to say that everv Swede in the state was brought into personal rela- 
tions with the enthusiastic and faithful missionary, his visitations, minis- 




MAIX BUILDING OF THE OEPHAXS' HOME 

DE. E. NOEELIUS. 



AT \'A>-V, ±'iJL ^N L'i:,_L> xji 



trations and preaching being accomplished on horseback or afoot. In 
1861 he moved to St. Paul, where his family had resided for a year, then 
to Goodhue count\% and took charge of his old congregations at Red 
Wing and Vasa. Ever since, his ministerial labors have been chiefly 
confined to Goodhue county although he has done some missionary work 
on the Pacific Coast and in other parts of the country. In 1874 he was 
elected president of the Augustana Synod, the highest position which 




THE EEV. EEIK NORELIUS, D. D. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 151 

can be conferred by the Swedish Lutheran Church in America. Dr. 
NoreHus was created a Doctor of Divinity by the Augustana College and 
Seminary, Rock Island, Illinois, and in 1903 old King Oscar II honored 
him with the order of the Knight of the North Star. Ever since he be- 
came a resident of Minnesota he has been a leading member of the 
Conference, and has distinguished himself as an organizer and promoter 
of various enterprises in behalf of the church. In 1857 he established the 
Minnesota Posten, the first Swedish newspaper in the state, and in 1862 
founded a Swedish academy at Red Wing, which became the famous 
Gustavus Adolphus College of St. Peter. He also identified himself 
with the inception of the orphan's home at Vasa, which he conducted 
for eleven years. The Rev. Norelius has been recognized as a leading 
writer and reliable historian. Despite his years, he is still very active; 
takes a deep interest in the work of the Conference and Synod, and travels 
extensively. 

Dr. Norelius' career in the fields of journalism and literature has 
been so interwoven with the progress of the Swedish-Americans of the 
northwest that it is here described more in detail. In 1857 he commenced 
the publication of the pioneer Swedish paper of the state, the Minne- 
sota Posten, but the venture was made at too early a day, and after a 
year of precarious existence was merged into the Hemlandet, of Chi- 
cago, of which he had been editor. In 1872 he started Luthersk Kyrko- 
tidning, which was merged into Augustana, Chicago, the following year. 
Norelius and P. Sjoblom commenced to publish Evangelisk Luthersk 
Tidskrift in 1877, but changed the name to Skaffaren the following year, 
and shortly after moved the paper from Red Wing to St. Paul where it 
has ever since been published as the organ of the Swedish Lutheran 
Conference of Minnesota. Its name has been changed, though, to 
Minnesota Stats Tidning. The Doctor has also contributed extensively 
on religious and historical subjects, to many Swedish-American journals. 
In 1889 he was called to the editorial chair of Augustana, the official 
organ of the Augustana Synod, published at Rock Island, Illinois, but 
his poor health compelled him to resign the following year. He has 
for a number of years been editor of Korsbancret, which are annuals 
published by the Augustana Synod. Norelius is the author of the fol- 
lowing books: Salems Sanger (1859), Handbok for Sondagsskolan 
(1865), Ev. Lutherska Augustana Synoden i Nord Amerika 



152 SWEDISH-A.AIERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

ocIj dcss Mission (1870), and Dc Svenska Liithcrska F'ursam- 
lingarnas ocJi Svcnskarncs Historia i Amcrika (1890). This 
last work is without comparison the most complete and thorough his- 
tory of the Scandinavians in America that has yet been published. Only 
the first volume which deals with the Swedes in America from the 
earliest emigration of the nineteenth century to 1860, has yet appeared. 
Norelius, who is the historian of the Augustana Synod, is still at work 
on the second part of this work. The most interesting portions, con- 
sidered with reference to the history comprises the author's relation of 
his experiences and the experience of others and his description of the 
natural appearance of the country in the early days is vivid and original 
in literary style. All his writings contain a great deal of wit, humor, 
and imagination. 

In his book "Alinnen" Colonel H. Mattson refers to Norelius in the 
following manner : 'Tn the beginning of the month of September, 1855, 
Rev. E. Norelius visited the settlement (Vasa) and organized a Lutheran 
church. Thirty-five years have elapsed since that time, and many of 
those who belonged to the first church at A'asa now rest in mother earth 
close by the present stately church edifice, which still belongs to the 
same congregation, and is situated only a short distance from the place 
where the latter was organized. Rev. Norelius himself lives only a few- 
hundred yards from the church building. Thirty-five years (this was 
written in 1890) have changed the then cheerful, hopeful young man 
into a veteran, crowned with honor, and full of wisdom and experience. 
His beneficent influence on the Swedes of Goodhue county, and of the 
whole Northwest will make his name dear to coming generations of our 
people." Norelius visited his native land in 1868 for the purpose of im- 
proving his health, but his quest was unsuccessful. In 1855 he was mar- 
ried to Inga C. Peterson, of West Point, Indiana, by whom he has had 
four sons and one daughter, of whom only two sons are living. One 
of his sons, said to have been very bright and promising, was drowned 
in Chisago Lake in 1889. 

The Rev. P. Beckman is the oldest minister in point of years in the 
Augustana Synod. He was born in Helsingland, Sweden, in 1822, and 
came to Minnesota in 1856, when he received a layman's license to preach. 
He is a charter member of the Conference. Ordained in 1859, he has 
been a pioneer minister in Kandiyohi, Chippewa, Swift, Pope and Douglas 
counties and has experienced more of the frontier hardships than prob- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 153 

ably any of the other pastors. He retired' a few years ago to enjoy the 
hospitaHty of children at Troy, Idaho. 

The Rev. J. Magny, D. D., was born in Blekinge, Sweden, in 1842, 
and has been in this country since 1858. He was ordained pastor in 1870 
and has devoted all his time and energy to build churches and promote 
the welfare of the Conference. A hard worker, a wise and conservative 
counsellor and a plain and cheerful man, he has always been an auspi- 
cious figure in church circles. He is pastor at Carlton. 

The Rev. J. O. Cavallin was born in Skane, Sweden, in 1844 and 
arrived in America in 1863. He was ordained minister seven years later. 
He has had charge of several congregations in the state and has devoted 
much time and labor in the mission fields, particularly in the Red River 
Valley and in the Dakotas. He is an exceptional organizer and leader 
and ever awake to the leading issues in church and state matters. His 
literary abilities have made him famous among the Scandinavians of the 
country and he is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers. 
He is at present engaged as a traveling missionary in North Dakota. 

The Rev. A. Hult is the oldest pastor in active service. He was born 
October 24, 1833 (two days before Dr. Norelius). His native home is 
in Vermland, Sw^eden. and he came to America in 1868 and was ordained 
the following year. He is an eloquent orator, gifted author and loves 
music. He is author of several pedagogical works and sacred hymns. 
He is in good health and has charge of the congregation at Harris. 

The St. Croix Valley. — The St. Croix Valley is in the eastern part 
of Minnesota, between St. Paul and Duluth, and is bordered on the 
east side by the St. Croix river and the boundary line of Wisconsin. 
The field of most church activity in this section includes the counties of 
Chisago, Washington and Isanti. This region may be designated as the 
center of Swedish-Lutheran church activity in America. In no other 
section in the United States, of the same size, are there as many Swedish- 
Lutheran congregations and members as here. Large, flourishing con- 
gregations are on the average only three to four miles apart. Some 
of these are on the Wisconsin side and are connected with the Minne- 
sota Conference. As the detail part of this history is supposed to cover 
Minnesota, I will only make a brief mention of the congregations across 
the St. Croix. They are : Sand Lake, G. Rast ; Apple River and Range, 
A. J. Malmquist ; Cumberland and Shell Lake, E. Edman ; Rice Lake and 
Hayward, A. Forslund; Star Prairie and New Richmond, C. E. Lind- 



154 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 




SOME SWEDISH LUTHEEAN CHUECHES IN MINNESOTA. 

(Eeproilueed from " Miunesskrift," dedicated to the Fifty Years' Jubilee of the 

Minuesota Conference.) 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 155 

quist; Amery and Clayton, J. A. Gustafson ; Trade Lake and West 
Sweden, E. Schold. The congregations at Grantsburg, Wood River and 
Falun are at this writing vacant. These congregations have a combined 
membership of more than 2,000 communicants and church property 
worth about $75,000. 

The Swedish-Lutheran congregation at Centre City, Minnesota, has 
the distinction of being the oldest in the state, having been organized 
May 12, 1854. The Rev. Erland Carlson presided at the first meeting. 
The Rev. E. Norelius, then a student, had charge of the congregation 
at first and received in compensation for his services only twenty-five 
dollars for four months' work. The following pastors have served this 
congregation : P. A. Cederstam, three years ; C. A. Hedengran, four- 
teen years ; J. J. Frodeen, fifteen years ; J. F. Seedofif, six years and F. 
M. Eckman, the present pastor, who has served since 1896. The congre- 
gation has about 2,100 members, of which 1,450 are communicants. The 
large and beautiful church structure has a dominating location on a 
peninsula overlooking Chisago Lake. The church building and parsonage 
represent an outlay of $37,000. The Conference was organized at this 
place and has celebrated its anniversaries here. The congregations at 
Taylor's Falls, Chisago City, and Almelund have been organized through 
the Centre City congregation. 

The congregation at Taylor's Falls was organized in 1860, with ten 
communicants but now numbers more than 350 adults and more than 
150 children. It has been served by the following pastors: P. A. Ceder- 
stam, A. F. Tornell, 'M. Spangberg, J. P. ]\Iattson, N. J. Sture, and 
C. J. Edman, who has been pastor since 1902. The church property is 
worth $14,000. 

The Swedish-Lutheran congregation at Chisago City was organized 
in 1874 with 113 communicants. The Revs. E. J. Werner, D. D., and 
J. Lundquist served as pastors, respectively, until 1909, when the Rev. 
C. E. Slatt assumed charge. The church building was destroyed by fire 
in 1908, but a new edifice has already been consecrated on the site of the 
old one. The communicants number about 600 and have church property 
worth $20,000. 

The prosperous congregation at Almelund had its beginning in 1887, 
and now numbers 550 communicants, with about 200 children. The Rev. 
J. P. ]\Iattson was the first pastor and he was succeeded by the Revs. N. 



156 SWEDISH-A:^IERICAXS of MINNESOTA 

T. Stnre, J. E. Carlson. The Rev. G. A. Stenborg is pastor now. The 
church property is worth $9,000. 

New Scandia, in \\'ashin§:ton county, is known as the Marine settle- 
ment, and the first Lutheran pastor to visit the same was the Rev. Erland 
Carlson, who came here about the time he organized the congregation 
at Chisago Lake. He found a colony of fifty Swedes and founded the 
congregation in 1854. During the early days the settlement was visited 
once every month by the Rev. P. A. Cederstam. The Rev. John Pehrson 
was the first regular pastor. Following him the pulpit has been supplied, 
respectivelv, bv the Revs. A. Lindholm, J. P. Lundblad, L. O. Lindh, E. 
Hedeen, and A. Hult. The Rev. J. Theodore Kjellgren, the present 
pastor, has served the congregation many years. The congregation has 
been visited by many adversities. It has erected five church buildings 
in the period of fift}--five years. The old church building was destroyed 
by a storm in 1884. A new building was ready for occupancy within a 
year. This building was destroyed by fire in 1907. A new edifice was 
constructed and ready the following year. The pastorate has 850 mem- 
bers and property valued at $32,000. 

It was through the activities of the congregation at New Scandia 
that the Swedes gathered at Marine Mills and organized a congregation 
in 1872. The first pastor was the Rev. L. O. Lindh. The charge has 
since been in charge of the Revs. E. Hedeen, G. A. Stenborg, C. J. Carl- 
son, J. Th. Kjellgren, J. P. Neander and J. A. Gustafson. The present 
pastor is the Rev. J. A. Levine, who has served since 1904. It has more 
than 400 communicants and property worth $7,000. 

Swedish-Lutheran ministers visited Stillwater as early as 1855 and 
conducted services in the various homes, but it was not until 1871 that 
a congregation was organized with a charter membership of thirty-four. 
Pastors from the neighboring congregations conducted the services until 
the Rev. A. F. Tornell arrived in 1877. He remained ten years. The 
Rev. L. J. Hafif was pastor until his death in 1895, when the Rev. Philip 
Thelander followed with a service of seven years. The charge was 
served the following four years by the Rev. A. W. Edwins, now mission- 
ary in China. The Rev. C. E. Benson is pastor. The congregation has 
750 members and church property worth $33,000. 

It was on account of the many sawmills in South Stillwater that the 
Swedes were attracted here. A congregation was organized in 1886 
and has, at present, 100 members and church property worth $4,000. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF ^IIXXESOTA 157 



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SOME SWEDISH LUTHERAN CHUECHES IN MINNESOTA. 

(Reproauced from "Minnesskrift," declieated to the Fifty Years' Jubilee of the 

Minnesota Conference.) 



158 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

The pastors at this place have also served Afton, where there is a con- 
gregation with seventy members. The pastors in charge have been the 
Revs. J. Magny, C. O. Olander, A. Bengtson and C. E. Odell. 

A congregation was organized at Forest Lake with a few families 
in 1888 but now numbers 225 within its fold. There is church property 
worth $18,000. The congregation has been served by the Revs. A. F. 
Aimer and the Rev. J. E. Carlson is in charge at present. 

Cambridge, the county seat of Isanti, has the oldest congregation in 
this circle. It was organized in 1864 and has about 550 members and 
property worth $25,000. Those who have served here are the Revs. 
J. Auslund, A. Engdahl, J. P. Neander, A. Bergin. and J. H. Nelson is 
in charge now. The congregation at Athens was formerly a part of the 
Cambridge parish. 

The congregation of Fish Lake was organized in 1867 and has 400 
members and property worth $12,000. It has been served since 1893 
by the Rev. P. A. Pihlgren. The first church building was destroyed by 
fire in 1886. Former pastors have been the Revs. Tornell, Brink (died 
1887), Fremling and Thegerstrom (now in Sweden). 

Organized in 1870, the congregation of Rush Lake has grown stead- 
ily until it embraces 230 members, who maintain a neat church property, 
worth about $6,000. The Rev. J. A. Johnson has been pastor since 1902. 
Former pastors have been the Revs. J. A. Levine, Frederick Peterson 
and Andrew Jackson, who died in 1901. 

The congregation at Spring Lake was a part of the one at Fish 
Lake until 1874, when it organized into a separate parish. The con- 
gregation now has more than 400 members and church property valued 
at $12,000, which includes the chapel and property at Oxford. The 
Rev. N. J. Brink, who died in 1887, was the first in charge and was 
succeeded by the Rev. G. Wahlund, who has served the congregation 
since 1888. 

Salem's church at Dalbo, has a membership of 150 and church 
property worth about $10,000. This parish also includes the Siloa con- 
gregation, which was organized in 1891, seventeen years later than 
the former; has a membership of seventy-five and property worth 
$1,500. The Rev. J. Albert Johnson is the present pastor. Preceding 
him have been the Revs. J. P. Leaf, E. J. Peterson and A. F. Nelson. 

Athens and Bradford congregations constitute one parish, with a 
membership of about 150. The combined value of the church proper- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 159 

ties is about $6,000. The former was organized in 1876 and the latter 
shortly afterwards. The Rev. N. A. Aimer is pastor. Others have been 
the Revs. J. E. Carlson and J. P. Mattson. 

The Rush City congregaton was organized in 1876 and has a mem- 
bership of 150, a new church building and property worth at least $10,- 
000. The Rev. C. A. Stenholm is pastor. 

Organized in 1883, Hinckley congregation has 80 members and 
church property worth $2,000. The edifice was erected following the 
great fire of 1894, when the whole town was destroyed together with 
many thriving settlements in that section. The congregation is served 
by the Rev. C. A. Stenholm, who resides in Rush City. Former pastors 
here have been the Revs. G. Peterson and E. J. Werner, D. D. 

The North Branch parish saw the organization of the Swedish- 
Lutheran congregation in 1887. It has a membership of 500 and church 
property worth $11,000. The charge is vacant at present. The Revs. 
E. Bowman, J. E. Liner and Alexis Andreen have served the congre- 
gation in the order named. 

Harris parish, formerly a part of the Fish Lake congregation, was 
organized in 1891 and has 160 members and church property worth 
$7,000. The Rev. A. Hult has been its pastor since 1906. 

Organized in 1879, Braham congregation was formerly known as 
that of Rice Lake. It has the old church edifice, besides the new one 
in the village of Braham. The property is worth $11,000. About 200 
members are enrolled. The Rev. J. O. Cavallin was the first pastor and 
was succeeded by the Rev. C. S. Renins, who is in charge at present. 

Mora and Brunswick congregations are located in the timber dis- 
trict of Kanabec county. The former was organized in 1891 and the 
latter in 1885. Combined they have about 200 members and both main- 
tain church buildings valued at $3,500. The Rev. S. Udden has been 
pastor since 1903. 

Pine Grove and Rock Creek congregations, combined, have a mem- 
bership of fifty and church buildings worth $2,500. The Rev. Frederick 
Peterson is pastor of both. 

The small congregation at Stacy was hard hit at the very begin- 
ning. It was organized in 1905 and the church building, erected early in 
1906, was destroyed by a cyclone June 6th of the same year. The Rev. 
J. Lundquist pays the faithful an occasional visit. 

St. Paul. — The capital city of Minnesota has seven Swedish 



i6o SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

St. Paul. — The capital city of ^Minnesota has seven Swedish 
Evangelical Lutheran churches, with nearly 3,000 communicant mem- 
bers and church property worth about $100,000. Quite a few Swedes 
came to St. Paul as early as 1853, and as soon as they had established 
their homes they felt the necessity of a congregation and communicated 
with the Rev. Prof. T. N. Hasselquist and the Rev. Erland Carlson, 
who paid them a visit shortly afterward and organized the First Swed- 
ish congregation in May, 1854. 

The Rev. Eric Norelius was called to this new charge in 1860. The 
congregation had its inception with about one dozen members, who con- 
tributed five dollars every month, which was applied to the house rent 
of the pastor. The first church building was completed in 1867. During 
the first ten years Swedes and Norwegians worshiped together. The 
Rev. J. Auslund was called to the pastorate in 1871 and served the con- 
gregation six years, when he was succeeded by the Rev. A. P. Monten, 
a young, spirited and practical man, who remained there nine years. 
During this time the congregation experienced a wonderful growth and 
made progress fast. The present large and handsome church structure 
was erected at a cost of about $30,000. The Rev. P. J. Sward succeeded 
Mr Monten and was in the service six years. The Rev. J. A. Johnston 
became the next pastor and remained ten years. The Rev. P. Peterson 
has been in charge since 1904. The congregation has about 1,200 com- 
municant members and church property worth about $50,000. The 
congregation to a large measure supports six other religious bodies in 
the city. 

Gustavus Adolphus Church was organized in 1889 and is one of 
the fev7 of the Conference which had been served by one pastor contin- 
uously for more than twenty years. The Rev. C. J. Carlson has been its 
pastor from_ the time of organization and has witnessed its rapid growth 
until he now ministers to more than 1,000 members, children included. 
The congregation has met many adversities. The first church building 
was destroyed by fire and the second greatly damaged during a storm. 
The church property is worth about $30,000. 

Emmanuel Church, organized as late as 1891, has more than 300 
communicant members and church property valued at $10,000. The 
congregation has been served by the Revs. J. G. Hultkrans, J. A. Frost, 
L. A. Hocanzon. E. Westerlund and its present pastor is the Rev. C. 
O. Swan. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



i6i 



Bethesda Church was organized in South St. Paul in 1894 and 
numbers more than 100 communicants, owning- a neat church building 
and parsonage, the property being worth about $5,000. Until 1905 this 
congregation was supplied with pastors from the Emmanuel Church, 
but has since that time been served by the Rev. A. Noren and now by 
the Rev. P. E. Bergstrom. 

Merriam Park, a suburb of St. Paul, has had a Swedish-Lutheran 
congregation since 1890. Pastors from various Twin City churches 




MISSION COTTAGE OF THE AUGUSTAXA CONGEEGATION, 

MINNEAPOLIS. 



filled the pulpit until 1902, when the Rev. J. A. Frost took charge. The 
congregation has a membership of 150 communicants and church prop- 
erty valued at $2,000. 

Augustana Church was organized in 1907 and was a mission in 
charge of the Rev. A. Noren until lately, when the Rev. P. E. Berg- 
strom took charge. 

1! 



i62 SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

"Gloria Dei" Church is an English Lutheran c©ngregation of the 
]\Iinnesota Conference and was organized in 1908. A prosperous congre- 
gation is assured in this field. 

White Bear Lake is considered a suburb of St. Paul, although 
twelve miles away, and has a small congregation, which owns church 
property worth $3,000. 

Minneapolis. — The first Swedish-Lutheran sermon was preached 
in Minneapolis near the site of St. Anthony Falls, in 1859. This service, 
which is the historical foundation for the powerful Lutheran gathering 
in the Flour City, was held in a private home by the Rev. P. Carlson. 
Nine of his countrymen were present. Minneapolis, now known as the 
city that "makes good," was then a village of a few houses. The field 
did not seem promising in the beginning, but the resources of the region, 
coupled with the gigantic power of the falls, later made it a Mecca for 
thousands who found it an ideal place in which to earn their fortunes. 
In the early sixties many Swedes established their homes there and 
church activities began to flourish. At this time the Revs. E. Norelius and 
A. Jackson arrived as missionary pastors and conducted services in 
schoolhouses and homes. Minneapolis now has ten Swedish-Lutheran 
congregations with nearly 4,000 communicant members and church 
property valued at $175,000. 

The Augustana Church is the oldest congregation in the city, and 
was organized in 1866, with a charter membership of twelve. Now it 
is the largest and numbers 1,400 communicants. The first pastor was 
the Rev. J. Auslund. In 1878 the Rev. J. Ternstedt, now in Sweden, 
took charge. He served ten years. The Rev. C. J. Petri, D. D., fol- 
lowed and is still ministering at this important post. The first church 
building was erected in 1868 and the present handsome structure was 
built in 1883. The property is worth $45,000. The congregation con- 
ducts a large philanthropic city mission, has engaged two deaconesses 
and maintains a two-story mission cottage for this work. 

The Bethlehem Church was organized in 1874, under the auspices 
of the Augustana congregation. The first regular pastor was the Rev. 
A. J. Enstam, who served from 1884 to 1892. The Rev. J. G. Hultkrans 
has been the pastor since then. He ministers to more than 500 communi- 
cants, who own church property worth $25,000. 

The Emmanuel Church, which is also an offshoot of the Augustana 
Church, was organized in 1884. The Rev. A. Melin was the first pas- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



163 




tbcr tir M tin 



SOME SWEDISH LUTHERAN CHURCHES IN MINNESOTA. 

(Reproduced from "Minnesskrift," dedicated to the Fifty Years' Jubilee of the 

Minnesota Conference.) 



i64 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

tor and was followed by the Rev. A. Carlson and the Rev. O. A. Nelson, 
who has had charge of the congregation fifteen years. The congrega- 
tion numbers about 500 communicants and has church property valued 
at $35,000. 

The St. Pauli Church. This congregation is one of the most flour- 
ishing in the city and is located on the South Side. It was organized 
in 1887 with eleven charter members but has grown until it now has 
about 600 communicants within its fold. In 1905 a beautiful church 
edifice was erected at a cost of $40,000, which includes the price paid 
for a spacious corner lot. The Rev. J. Ternstedt was the first pastor 
and his successor was the Rev. S. Johnson. The Rev. E. O. Stone has 
had charge since 1895. 

The Ebenezer Church, organized in 1892 with twenty charter mem- 
bers, now numbers more than 300 communicants and has property worth 
about $7,000. The following ministers have served this congregation: 
The Revs. A. Aaron, J. A. Krantz, A. Sundberg, P. A. Mattson and 
J. E. Shipp. The present pastor is the Rev. O. A. Nelson. 

The Zion Church has continued as one parish, in connection with 
the Salem congregation. It was organized in 1893, has 200 communi- 
cants and property valued at $10,000. 

Swedes residing in the vicinity of the Salem church building organ- 
ized the congregation by that name in 1896. It has 150 communicant 
members and has church property worth $8,000. The congregation has 
been served by the Revs. J. O. Cavallin, C. O. Olander and A. 
Samuelson. 

The Gethsemane Church is located at Hopkins, a suburb of Min- 
neapolis, and was organized in 1890. It has about 100 communicant 
members and a church building worth $3,000. The Rev. J. N. Alm- 
quist is the pastor. 

Grace and Messiah Churches are English-Lutheran congregations, 
outgrowths of the Swedish, and the communicants are mostly of Swed- 
ish descent. Both have their own church buildings and number about 
100 communicants each. 

DuLUTH Territory. — Duluth is not only a commercial center, but 
is also a church center, and particularly so with regard to the Swedish- 
Lutheran Church. Swedes settled in Duluth as early as in the first part 
of the sixties, but it was not until 1867 that they were found to any 
larg-e extent. Some Lutherans arrived in 1869, among them A. P. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 165 

Krantz, Nels Hall and others, who took great interest in church work. 
The Revs. P. A. Cederstam and E. N. Jorlander were the first Swedish 
missionaries in that section. 

As early as 1853 devout Swedes were found in Superior. The 
popular congressman, Lenroot, is from this old stock. 

There are five Swedish Lutheran congregations in the city of Du- 
luth, with a membership of 1,200 and church property worth $85,000. 
There are four congregations in Superior with about 600 communicants, 
having church property w^orth $30,000. 

More than forty congregations are flourishing in the vicinity of 
Duluth. Many are still small and lately founded. Through records of 
ministerial acts it is, however, shown that the Church is in close touch 
with the people of that region. Records of baptisms show that about 
five times as many children of non-members are baptized every year 
than those of communicants. The pastors marry twelve times as many 
couples every year outside of church membership as parishioners. 

The following congregations are located on the Wisconsin side: 
Ashland, C. A. Carlsted, pastor, property, $15,000; Bayfield, property, 
$2,500; Washburn, property, $1,600; Pilgrim, Superior, property, $24,- 
000; Salem, Superior, property, $2,500, and South Range. The Rev. 
J. E. Linner is pastor of the three last named congregations. The Rev. 
John B. A. Idstrom serves congregations at Superior, Bethania and Pop- 
lar. Services are also held at Port Wing, Birch Lake and Nebagamon. 

First Swedish Lutheran Church of Duluth was organized in 1871, 
with a membership of 100. The first pastors in charge were the Revs. 
Cederstam, Jorlander, Engdahl and Brink. The Rev. C. J. Collin arrived 
in 1882 and labored in this great field for twelve years. His field was 
the entire northeastern Minnesota, wherever Swedes had settled and 
wherever his services were needed. He organized about one dozen con- 
gregations. The Rev. J. A. Krantz was his successor and remained 
in that parish eight years. The Rev. C. Solomonson has served the 
Church since 1903. The property is valued at $31,000. The congrega- 
tion at Arnold is supported by the First Swedish Lutheran congrega- 
tion, both have a membership of 350. 

Bethania Church is an outgrowth of the First Swedish-Lutheran 
Church and was organized in 1889. The Rev. C. O. Cassel, who died 
in 1898, was its first pastor. The Rev. A. F. Elmquist served the con- 



i66 SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF AIIXXESOTa 

gregation the five following years. The present pastor is the Rev. C. 
G. Olson. The congregation at Alborn is annexed to this charge. The 
combined membership is about 600 with church property worth $32,000. 

Elim Church. West Duluth, was organized in 1890, and has been 
served by the following pastors : The Revs. Hocanzon, Elmquist, Christ 
Swenson and J. A. Krantz, D. D., who has been the president of the 
Minnesota Conference since 1902. The charge at Midway is annexed 
to this congregation. The membership numbers about 350 and the 
church property is worth $20,000. 

The congregation at Two Harbors has a splendid church property 
valued at $13,000 and a membership of 300. It was organized in 1889. 
The Rev. J. D. Nelsenius has been' pastor since 1902. The former 
pastors were the Revs. G. Peterson, A. F. Wicklund, and N. Ohslund. 

Mesaba Range is a wealthy mining district and has several small 
Swedish Lutheran congregations, which were organized between the 
years 1894 and 1905. At first pastors from Duluth supplied the pulpits 
in this district and has lately been served by the Rev. P. O. Hanson. 
The congregations and dates of organization are: Virginia, 1894; 
Biwabik, 1894; Hibbing, 1901; Eveleth. 1901; Chisholm, 1905; Feeley, 
1905, and other rural districts are receiving attention. The congrega- 
tions have church buildings and are growing in membership. 

Grand Rapids is another mission center of much church activity. The 
Rev. L. W. Gullstrom is in charge. 

Carlton and Cloquet congregations were organized in 1886 and 
have been served by the following pastors : J. B. Bennet, J. S. Ryding, 
Hocanzon, J. A. Swenson, J. A. Gustafson and C. O. Swenson. The 
congregation at Cloquet has property Avorth $8,000 and the one at 
Carlton for about $6,000. Carlton, Atkinson and ]\Iahtowa are united into 
one parish. J. Magny, D. D., pastor. 

Moose Lake parish has congregations at Moose Lake, Blomskog, 
Swede Park and Barnum. The Revs. J. Truedson, E. Norsen and 
C. E. Gustafson have labored in this field. 

Tower, Soudan and Ely are three thriving towns on the Ver- 
million range and have constituted a field for church activity since 
1885. The pastors have been the Revs. E. G. Thegerstrom (now in 
Sweden), G. Peterson. N. Ohslund and P. O. Hanson. The present 
pastor is the Rev. J. Truedson. The three towns have church property 
worth about $10,000. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 167 

The pastor at Sandstone, the Rev. C. G. Gronberg-, ministers at 
Dell Grove and Kerrick as well. This field has a membership of 
about 100. 

Southern ^Iixnesota. — This division will include what is known 
in the Conference as the Goodhue, St. Peter and South Minnesota 
Valley districts, some sixty congregations, with about 12,000 communi- 
cant parishioners. Here we find some of the oldest and even largest 
churches in the Conference. The pioneer ministers in this part of the 
state are : The Rev. Dr. E. Norelius, with Goodhue county, as the 
main point for the most energetic operation all around. The Rev. 
Boren, was also early in the field, but called by death in 1865. The 
Revs. P. Carlson, P. Sjoblom, A. Palmstrom and J. Magny, may also 
be called pioneers in this field. The Revs. P. Cederstam, John Person, 
And. Jackson and C. M. Ryden are the pioneers in Nicollet and Sibley 
counties, and the Revs. P. J. Eckman, Svante Anderson, A. Jackson, 
H. P. Ouist and L. A. Hocanzon in the southern counties. The 
Gustavus Adolphus College, the oldest and largest educational institu- 
tion in the Conference, is located at St. Peter and the pride of all 
churches in this district. 

Goodhue District. — Vasa Church was organized in 1855. The 
Rev. E. Norelius has been the pastor most of the time from the begin- 
ning until 1906, when the Rev. B. Modin accepted the call. For short 
periods the congregation has been served by the following ministers: 
The Revs. Boren, two years ; P. J. Sward, seven years ; J. Fremling, 
three years. The Rev. Dr. E. Norelius has had charge for about forty 
years. The congregation numbers 750 adult members, and owns church 
property worth $27,000. 

Red Wing Church was organized in 1855. The Rev. Dr. P. Sjoblom 
was pastor here from 1869 to 1887, and then the Rev. G. Rast to 1907, 
the Rev. E. G. Chinlund now in charge. The congregation has about 
700 communicant members, and church property worth $33,000. 

Cannon River Church was organized in 1857; Welch in 1873; and 
Prairie Island in 1876. The following ministers have had charge in this 
pastorate. The Revs. J. Magny, A. Wahlin, G. A. Stenborg, C. M. 
Ryden and C. A. Bar. Cannon River has 130 communicants and church 
property worth $4,000. Welch, 260 communicants and property worth 
$8,000. Prairie Island 70 communicants and property worth $1,500. 

Spring Garden Church was organized in 1858, has 300 adult members 



i68 



SWEDISH-AMERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 




SOME SWEDISH LUTHERAN CHURCHES IX MINNESOTA. 
(Eeprodueed from "Minnesskrift." dedicated to the Fifty Years' Jubilee of the 

Minnesota Conference.) 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 169 

and property worth $14,000. The first pastor in charge was the Rev. 
P. Beckman. Others have been the Revs. J. O. Cavalhn, Norelius, Palm- 
strom, J. S. Ryding, J. J. Frodeen and J. A. NorHn, now in charge. 

Cannon Falls Church was organized in 1869, and until 1896 was in 
pastorate union with Cannon River. The Rev. S. Johnson was pastor 
until 1904; then the Rev. J. N. Brandelle, and now the Rev. J. A. Edlund. 
The congregation has 500 communicant members and church property 
worth $12,500. 

Lake City Church, which was organized in 1869, has 200 communi- 
cant members and church property worth $6,000. Following are the 
ministers who have served this congregation: The Revs. Fremling, 
Lindholm, Grunden, Linner, S. G. Swenson and S. L. Wilson. The 
Rev. Wilson has also charge of the Minieska Church. 

Christdale Church (Rice county) and Hoflanda Church (Mower 
county), Rev. L. A. Edmon, pastor, have church property worth $3,000 
and $1,500, respectively, and about 75 communicants each. 

Zion Church, Goodhue, organized in 1869, has 90 communicants 
and church property worth $3,000. The Rev. E. Norelius has been 
pastor in charge ever since the organization. 

The Goodhue Mission District has six churches in Wisconsin. 
They are: Stockholm and Little Plum, in charge of the Rev. C. J. 
Collin. The former has property worth $16,000 and about 400 com- 
municants ; the latter 1 10 communicants and property worth $2,000. 

Hager City and Bay City churches, the Rev. A. F. Nelson, pastor, 
have 250 communicants and property worth $5,0(X); Eau Claire, 170 
communicants and property valued at $10,000; the Rev. O. Lundquist, 
pastor. 

St. Peter District. — St. Peter. This church was organized 1857. 
Pastors who have served the congregation are : The Revs. Cederstam, 
John Pehrson, M. Sandell (now in Sweden), J. G. Lagerstrom, C. J. 
Petri, C. B. L. Boman, M. Wahlstrom, P. A. Mattson and E. J. Ny- 
strom, the present pastor. The congregation has 625 adult members 
and church property worth $20,000. 

Scandian Grove Church was organized in 1858; has 250 communi- 
cants and property worth $15,000. The Revs. Cederstam, Pehrson, B. 
S. Nystrom, J. H. Randahl and J. V. Soderman, the present pastor, 
have served here. 

East Union Church (Carver county), was organized in 1858. The 



170 SWEDISH-AAIERICANS OF AIINNESOTA 

Rev. P. Carlsen was pastor for a period of twenty years, and the the 
Revs. A^. G. Dahlstedt, C. B. L. Boman, C. J. Edman and S. G. Swen- 
son, now in charge. The number of communicant members are 360 
and church property is worth $10,000. The church at Carver has 120 
communicants and is served by the same pastor. 

West Union Church (Carver county), was organized in 1858. The 
following pastors have been in charge: The Revs. P. Carlson, 11 years; 
A. Jackson, 26 years; P. P. Hedenstrom, 4 years; E. J. Werner, 7 years, 
and Dr. J. Fremling, since 1903. The congregation numbers 300 com- 
municants and owns property worth $5,000. 

Vista Church (Waseca county), organized in 1858, has now 150 
communicant members and church property worth $10,500. The fol- 
lowing pastors have had charge: The Revs. Beckman, Cederstam, Nels 
Olsen, Pehrson, Hocanzon, Nyquist, S. Anderson, Quist, E. A. Peterson 
and J. Hedberg (pastor at present). The churches at Mansfield, Free- 
born county, and Waseca Village are connected with this charge. 

Bernadotte Church (Nicollet county), was organized in 1866; now 
numbers 550 communicants and has church property worth $25,000. 
The pastors who have served here are : The Revs. C. M. Ryden, E. 
Hedeen, Grunden, J. H. Nelson and C. B. L. Boman, now in charge. 

Belgrade and Mankato churches are now in charge of the Rev. N. 
P. Tuleen. Former pastors were the Revs. Franzen and A. E. Ericson. 
The congregation at Mankato has 300 communicants and property 
worth $17,000. 

Clear Lake and Gibbon churches (Sibley county), the Rev. Oscar 
J. Arthur, pastor, have property worth $8,000 each, and 170 and 75 
communicants, respectively. 

Swede Home and Fridhem churches (Yellow Medicine county), 
and Clarkfield Church is one pastorate, with the Rev. C. A. Larson in 
charge. Former pastors have been the Revs. B. F. Bengtson 
C. E. Shaken and C. J. Karl. The pastorate has church property valued 
at $11,000 and over 200 communicant members. 

Winthrop Church, organized in 1884, numbers now about 350 com- 
municant members and has church property worth $20,000. The Rev. 
L. P. Bergstrom served this church until 1909, for a term of over 21 
years. 

Providence Valley Church, organized in 1884, has now 350 communi- 
cant members and church property valued at $7,000. Former pastors 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 171 

have been the Revs. B. F. Bengtson and J. B. Bennet. The Rev. J. H. 
Randahl is now in charge. 

Lafayette Church, organized in 1897, has about 200 communicant 
members and property worth $7,500. This church has been served by 
the following pastors : The Revs. H. O. Hemning, F. E. Sard and S. 
A. Lindholm, now in charge. 

The small churches at Jordon and Le Sueur are served by pastors 
from other churches. 

The First English Church, St. Peter, was organized in 1892. Pas- 
tors in charge have been the Revs. J. Sander, I. Nothstein and L. Malm- 
berg, at present. Church property worth $8,500 and 250 communicants. 

Minnesota Valley District. — The East Sveadahl and St. James 
churches are under one pastorate. The former church is the oldest, 
being organized in 1870 and has property worth $15,000 and 300 com- 
municant members. St. James, organized in 1884, has 240 members 
and property worth $6,500. The Rev. P. J. Eckman, the first pastor, 
and then the Revs. L. J. Fihn and A. T. Lundholm, pastor since 1905. 

Kansas Lake Church, Rev. L. G. Almen, pastor, has 130 communi- 
cant members and church property worth $7,000. This church was 
formerly one of the Rev. Eckman's large field. 

Dunnell Church, organized in 1871, and Triumph, in 1887, are one 
pastorate, with the Rev. J. H. Ford as pastor. The church of Dunnell 
has 250 communicant members and property worth $14,000; Triumph, 
about 50 adult members and property worth $1,500. 

As to Walnut Grove and Tracy churches, the former organized in 
1872. now has 180 communicant members and church property worth 
$3,500; the Tracy Church, organized in 1888, has property worth $3,000 
and 50 communicants. Pastors have been the Rev. Lagergren, Quist, A. 
P. Sater, B. S. Nystrom, Holmgren and L. E. Sjolinder, now in charge of 
this parish and also of Elim, Lincoln county. 

West Sveadahl and Little Cottonwood churches were both organized 
in 1873 and are one pastorate. Pastors in charge have been the Revs. 
A. E. Ericson, K. J. Erkander and Karl Kraft. This pastorate has 
about 500 communicant members and church property worth $11,000. 
The parsonage is at West Sveadahl. 

Sillerud (Murray county) and Balaton churches are under the 
pastorate of Rev. Harald Ardahl. The former church has 300 communi- 



1/2 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

cants and property worth $6,000. Former pastors : The Revs. Sater, Nor- 
strom and Almen. 

Lakefield and East Chain Lake are small congregations in charge 
of the Rev. A. Road ; both have property worth $3,200. 

Wadstena Church is in charge of the old pioneer minister, the 
Rev. P. J. Eckman. 

Lime Lake and Bethania (Murray county) have property worth 
$7,000 and over 200 communicants. The old veteran minister, the Rev. 
S. Anderson, has had charge since 1900. 

Worthington Church, organized 1876, has 250 communicant mem- 
bers and property worth $7,500. The Rev. E. M. Erikson was pastor 
1895-1905, and then the Rev. C. O. Swan. 

The church at Dundee has a building worth $1,500 and only 35 
communicant members. The Rev. S. Anderson preaches here. 

The Central West of Minnesota. — In this territory we include 
the middle western counties from Ottertail to Aitkin county, and Yel- 
low Medicine to Wright county, being known as the Alexandria, Cokato, 
Willmar and Big Stone and Mississippi district of the Minnesota Con- 
ference. The early pioneer ministers in this large missonary fields 
were the Revs. J. Magny, J. P. Lundblad, and S. J. Kronberg, who 
worked in Ottertail and Douglas counties. The Revs. Peter Carlson, 
E. Norelius, P. Beckman, L. Johnson, L. O. Lind, A. G. Linden, J. G. 
Lagerstrom, P. A. Cederstam, A. Jackson, J. S. Nelson and J. Aim are 
frontier missionaries, whose names will always be closely connected with 
the church work and history in this part of the state. 

Alexandria District. — Oscar Lake and Norunga churches (Doug- 
las county) , the former organized in 1866, may well be called the mother 
church in this part of the state. The Rev. J. Magny is the pioneer 
minister in this territory and has organized this and many other churches. 
Both these churches have 200 communicants and church property worth 
$7,000. The Holmes City congregation, organized in 1875, having 100 
communicants and church property worth $3,000, is connected with this 
pastorate ; Rev. E. M. Erikson, pastor. 

Alexandria Church, organized in 1877, and Lake Ida, in 1869, have 
100 communicant members each. Parsonage at Alexandria. Church 
property in both worth $10,000; Rev, A. Mattson, pastor. 

Fryksande, Christine Lake, Zionsborg and Evansville congregations 
(Douglas county), constitute one pastorate, with the Rev. E. Floreen 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 173 

in charge. These churches were organized between the years 1877-1885. 
Together their church property is worth $11,000 and number of com- 
municants is 300. 

Of the Hoffman, Vanersborg, Kensington and Swan Lake churches 
the oldest one is at Vanersborg, organized 1871 ; the other three were 
organized in 1901. All four congregations have church buildings, worth 
about $4,000 each. The number of communicants in the pastorate is 
about 400; Rev. P. P. Hedenstrom, pastor. 

Eagle Lake and Gothalund churches, in charge of the Rev. S. W. 
Swenson, were organized 1871 and 1878, respectively. The church in 
Eagle Lake has 225 communicant members and property worth $5,000. 
The other church 100 communicants and property valued at $3,000. 

Of the Parker's Prairie and Ester churches (Ottertail county), the 
former was organized in 1871 and the latter in 1893. For many years 
the Rev. J. P. Lundblad served these churches. The present pastor, the 
Rev. J. P. Leaf, has now been in charge for about thirteen years. Park- 
er's Prairie has property worth $5,700 and 260 communicant members. 
Ester property is valued at $3,000 ; church membership, 140. 

Falun and Spruce Hill churches were organized in 1871 and 1876, 
respectively; Rev. P. E. Ording, pastor. The church at Falun has 230 
communicant members and church property is worth $7,000; Spruce 
Hill, about 100 communicant members and church property, $2,300. 

Fergus Falls, organized 1877, for many years served by the Rev. 
L. Johnson, counts 150 communicant members, and church property 
is worth $3,000. The Rev. J. Moody, president of Northwestern Col- 
lege, a Lutheran school located here, is the present pastor. 

Elbow Lake, Herman and Fridhem churches (Grant county) are 
in charge of the Rev. A. G. Olson, with about 250 communicant mem- 
bers and church edifices in all three congregations, worth $8,000. 

Swede Grove and Elizabeth churches (Ottertail county) were or- 
ganized in 1877; Rev. L. P. Stenstrom, pastor. He is one of the few 
ministers who have chosen to remain at their posts. For thirty years, 
ever since he became a minister, he has administered to these churches. 
Both congregations consist of nearly 200 communicant members, and 
their property is valued at $5,000. 

Vacant churches in this district are, in Ottertail county: Peace 
Prairie, organized in 1880, church property, $2,000; Compton, organ- 
ized, 1882, property $1,100, members 75. In Todd county: Clarissa, 



174 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

organized 1888, members 60, church property $2,300; Eagle Bend, 
organized 1890, communicant members 40, church building $1,000; 
Little Sauk, organized 1897, communicant members 30. church property 
$1,500; Ward, organized 1901, has 20 members and a little church 
building. In Wadena county : Sebeka, with about 20 members and 
church building worth $1,000; Compton, a little church building and 
some 20 members. 

WiLLMAR District. — The first Swedes arrived at New London, Kan- 
diyohi county, in 1856; the Rev. P. Carlson visited these frontiers in 1859 
and a church was organized. The Revs. Jackson and Norelius also paid 
them visits and the Rev. A. Jackson was called as permanent pastor. In 
1862 the people fled from the Indian massacre, in which eighteen per- 
sons were murdered. Three years later the people began to return and 
the church work was resumed. The following pastors have had charge: 
The Revs. E. Hedeen, L. G. Almen, C. J. Collin and A. F. Seastrand, 
the present pastor. The congregation has nearly 300 communicant mem- 
bers and church property worth $7,000. The church at Spicer is annexed 
to this. 

The Tripolis (Kandiyohi county) church was organized in 1868. 
with Rev. P. Beckman as first pastor and had a large field to cover. The 
Revs. J. L. Lundquist, Aim, Werner and Lindholm have served the 
church in the order named. The present pastor is the Rev. B. E. Walters ; 
church property valued at $15,000, and over 300 communicant members. 

Atwater church was organized in 1870, has now 300 communicant 
members and its church property is worth $10,000. The Grove City 
church has 225 members with property valued at $4,500. The Rev. P. 
Beckman was also the pioneer mmister, and since the following have 
served thej parish : The Revs. L. J. Lundquist, Frost, Hedeen and, now, 
G. O. Schoberg (since 1900). 

Beckville and Cosmos churches comprise one parish, with the Rev. 
B. O. Berg, present pastor. Both congregations have over 250 communi- 
cant members and church property worth $10,500. 

Of the Willmar and Mamrelund churches the former was organized 
in 1893, the latter in 1869. The Revs. Lundblad, Beckman, Almen, Nor- 
sen and A. F. Nelson have been pastors until 1902, when the Rev. G. 
Peterson, the present pastor, took charge. Both congregations have 
300 communicant members and church property worth $15,000. 

Svea Church (Kandiyohi county) was organized in 1870, the Rev. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 175 

P. Beckman its first pastor. His successors were: The Revs. L. J 
Lundquist, J. Aim and J. O. Lundberg (since 1888). Church property 
worth $11,000; communicants, 300. 

Litchfield and Ostmark. The first pastor in Litchfield was the Rev. 
J. S. Ryding, and then the Revs. Hocanzon, P. A. Wenner and the pres- 
ent pastor, O. Hallberg. Communicants in both Litchfield and Ostmark, 
300; church property at Litchfield worth $12,000, and Ostmark, $1,500. 

Benson and Bethesda (Swift county), Lake Lillian and Zions (Chip- 
pewa county) churches comprise a group of congregations with the Rev. 
E, Norsen, pastor, in charge. The church at Benson has 125 communi- 
cant members, and has church' property worth $4,000. The other 
churches' property is about $7,000, with a membership of 200 communi- 
cants. Former pastors have been the Revs. P. Beckman and J. W. 
Lundgren, 

Bethania ( Pope county) , Christine, Rosendale and Manannah churches 
have been ministered mostly by pastors from other parishes. The church 
at Christine was organized in 1875 and has property worth $7,500, and 
about 100 communicant members. 

CoKATO District. — The Gotaholm church at Watertown, and Lyn- 
dale and Gotalund, at Maple Plain, constitute one pastorate, Gotaholm 
was organized in 1866 by the Rev. P. Carlson. The Revs. A. Jackson, 
J. S. Nelson, J. Aim, J. S. Ryding and L. J. Lundquist have had charge 
since. The Rev. P. E. Berg is now pastor in this parish. Gotaholm 
has over 400 communicant members and church property worth $14,0(X). 
Lyndale and Gotalund have about 50 communicant members each, and 
church edifices worth $1,200 each, 

Carlslund Church at Buflfalo, and Swedesburg Church at Waverly 
comprise one charge, with 200 and 150 communicant members, respec- 
tively, and church property worth about $12,000. Carlslund was organ- 
ized in 1866, and the other seven years later. The following pastors have 
been in charge : The Revs. J. S. Nelson, E. Norsen, P. A. Wenner, Ry- 
den, Rehner and Cesander. Vacant at present. 

Moores Prairie Church was organized in 1866. The pastors who 
have served here are the Revs. Lagerstrom, Cederstam, G. Peterson, C. 
B. L. Boman and S. Johnson, who is there at present. This congregation 
has over 700 communicant members and church property is worth $15,000. 

Cokato Church, which was organized in 1870, has 425 communicants 
and property valued at $20,000. The former pastors in charge are : The 



176 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Revs. Fr. Peterson, Hocanzon, Levine, and Bennett. The Rev. C. A. 
Bar has now charge. 

Of North Crow River and French Lake churches the former was or- 
ganized in 1870 and has 250 communicant members, with church property 
worth $11,000; the latter, 100 members, and church building worth $3,600. 
For some years this church was served by ministers from Cokato; since 
that time the following have ministered: The Revs. E. Norsen, J. A. 
Elmer and A. Melin (now in charge). 

The Dassel and Swan Lake (]\leeker county) churches were both or- 
ganized in 1873 by the Rev. J. G. Lagerstrom. Both these churches have 
had the following pastors : The Revs. Cederstam, Hocanzon, Ryding, Aim 
and the present pastor, J. W. Lundgren. The church at Dassel has 
more than 300 communicant members and church property worth $10,- 
000. The Swan Lake Church nearly 100 communicants with building 
worth $1,500. 

Nylunda Church (Wright county), Herman Church at Granite 
Lake, and St. John Church at Annandale, are in charge of the Rev. 
Mathias Peterson, and have together about 250 communicant members 
and church property worth $8,500. The parsonage is at Granite Lake. 

Big Stone District. — Sacred Heart and Montevideo churches were 
organized in 1870 and 1873, respectively. This parish has been ministered 
to by the Revs. L. G. Almen, A. G. Linden, J. H. Nelson and O. J. 
Nelson (who is now in charge). The church of Sacred Heart has 160 
communicant members and church property worth $7,000; Montevideo 
Church, 140 members and property worth $2,000. 

Clinton, Ortonville and Odessa congregations have been served by 
the Rev. A. Engdahl, who has been their pastor for a quarter of a cen- 
tury — a record gained by very few ministers. The church at Clinton 
has 180 communicant members and church property worth $5,000. The 
church at Ortonville is smaller in membership, but has as valuable property 
as the former. 

Barry Church (Grant county) was organized 1891, has about 100 
communicant members and church property worth $3,000; the Rev. L. 
J. Lundquist, pastor. 

Of Swedlanda, Fridsborg and Olivia churches in Renville county, the 
oldest and strongest is the Swedlanda congregation, organized in 1878, 
and now numbering about 200 communicant members, with church 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 177 

property worth $6,000. The other two churches have 125 members and 
property vahied at $5,000 ; Rev. A. Bengtson, pastor in charge. 

Hector and Preston Lake churches were organized in 1890. The 
church at Hector has 170 communicant members and property worth 
$4,500; Rev. J. G. Kallberg has charge. 

Wheaton Church, organized in 1883, numbers 110 communicants 
and has church property valued at $6,000; the Rev. E. A. Lindgren, 
pastor. 

Immanuel (Traverse county) Church, organized in 1879, has 75 
communicants and church property worth $6,000. The Rev. A. P. 
Montin is pastor. He has also charge of the church at White Rock, 
South Dakota. 

Mississippi District. — Brainerd Church, organized in 1882, has 
140 communicant members and church property worth $5,500. Pastors 
who have served here are the Revs. J. G. Hultkrans, P. Sjoblom, J. A, 
Johnson and others. The present pastor is Hugo Thorene. 

St. Clair Church, organized in 1883, has 100 communicant mem- 
bers and a nice property worth $11,000; Rev. Christ. Svenson, pastor. 
Salem Church at Milo, and Zion Church at Milaca, were organized 
in 1893 and 1894, respectively ; both have church buildings worth $3,000 
and about 225 communicant members ; the Rev. A. J. Elmer, pastor. 

Maria, Bethlehem, St. Pauli and Deerwood churches, in Aitkin 
county, number about 150 communicant members and each has a church 
building worth from $1,000 to $2,500; Rev. E. H. Sander is pastor, 
having these four churches in his charge. 

Little Falls Church, organized in 1892, has a fine church property 
worth $6,000 and 80 communicant members. Vacant at present. 

Bock Church, Millelacs county, organized in 1894; property worth 
$1,000 and eighty communicants; Rev. J. Alf. Johnson, Dalbo, pastor. 

Upsala Church, organized in 1889, has property worth $5,500 and 
175 communicant members. Vacant at this writing. 

Vacant churches supplied by visiting pastors and preaching laymen 
are at Belle Prairie, Darling, Aldrich, Ronneby, Pine River, Opstead, 
Isle and Scandia Valley. 

Anoka and Ham Lake Churches were organized in 1870 and 72, 
respectively, the former, 60 communicants; the latter 90; each church 
having property worth $4,000. Former pastors, the Revs. J. D. Nelsenius 
and A. F. Tornel. The Rev. J. E. Erlander now in charge. 
12 



178 SWEDISH-A.AIERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

The Silver Creek, Big Lake and jMonticello churches are under one 
pastorate, with three churches and about 125 communicant members; 
Rev. A. F. Tornell, pastor (died in January, 1910). 

Hastings is an old church, being organized in 1871, but having only 
60 members and church edifice worth $1,200. The Rev. L. A. Hocanzon 
now in charge. 

At Zimmerman, Princeton, and Saron, Millelacs county, are three 
small churches with about 150 members; the Rev. A. Lundquist, pastor. 

The Red River \'alley.— This vast territory, comprising the north- 
western part of Minnesota, from Lake Traverse in the south to the 
boundary of Manitoba in the north, about 200 miles in length and one 
hundred miles in width, for the last thirty years has been a great field for 
church activity. About fifty congregations are planted in this field and 
on the other side of the state line, in North Dakota, about 25, making 
a total of 75 churches, with a communicant membership of over 4,000. 
The pioneer ministers and missionaries in this territory were the Revs. 
J. P. Mattson, P. Almgren, P. Sjoblom, L. A. Hocanzon, J. O. Cavallin, 
P. Dillner, J. Aim, S. J. Kronberg, and S. Udden. Most of the congre- 
gations are yet comparatively small, only about ten over 100 communi- 
cants and none more than 200. The church property is worth about 
$250,000. 

Eksjo and Richwood churches (Becker county) are the oldest in 
this district, both being organized in 1871. The Rev. J. P. Mattson was 
their first pastor and after him the Rev. P. P. Hedenstrem had charge 
for a number of years. Eksjo has church property for $16,000. Both 
congregations have about 200 communicant members. 

Bethesda Church, Moorhead, was organized in 1880. Rev. C. O. 
Cavallin was for many years pastor here and extended his work over a 
large field in both states. The Rev. S. A. Lindholm was his successor 
for some years and then the Rev. J. A. Nyvall. The church property 
is worth $20,000 and the communicants number about 200. 

Highland Grove Church, organized in 1886, has seventy communi- 
cant members and property worth $1,500. 

"Treenighets" Church, at Upsala, has about 150 communicant mem- 
bers and church property valued at $5,000, with the Rev. N. Lehart, 
pastor. 

Comstock has a church with 75 members and church property 

worth $5,000. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 179 

Fertile and Wolverton have two churches, each worth respectively 
$1,000 and $4,000, and about 100 members. Vacant at present. 

Warren, the county seat of Marshall county, has one of the finest 
Swedish-Lutheran churches in this part of the state. It cost about $12,- 
000. The congregation was organized 1881. The pastors who have 
served here are the Revs. S. Udden, N. J. Sture, O. S. Verner, A. Ber- 
gin, A. Mattson, J, A. Mattson and E. O. Chelgren (since 1907). The 
congregation numbers over 100 communicant members. Vega congre- 
gation, formerly a part of Warren, has about 60 members, with building 
worth $2,500. Warren is the home of North Star College, an institution 
of learning conducted by the Swedish-Lutheran church people in this 
district. 

The Rev. L. P. Lundgren has been pastor of Hallock Church since 
1892 and has charge of four other churches in the neighborhood. The 
Fridhem Church at Hallock was organized in 1886. The other congre- 
gations in charge of the Rev. Lundgren are: Red River, organized 
1881; Saron, organized 1883; Sikar, organized 1898; Tabitha, organized 
1907. The value of the church property is over $20,000; communicant 
members about 600. The Revs. Lagerstrom, Cavallin, Montin and G. 
Peterson were the pioneer missionaries in this field. 

St. Hilaire Church was organized in 1885 ; Black River in 1881 and 
Qara, HazeL in 1895. These churches are one parish, now in charge of 
the Rev. Alex. Sand. There are about 250 members and church property 
worth $11,000 in the three congregations. 

Englund, Strandquist and New Folden churches, in Marshall county, 
are in charge of the Rev. A. J. Ryden. In these three congregations 
are some 200 communicant members and church property worth $6,000. 

In Kennedy parish are three congregations, in charge of the Rev. 
Kr. Rosenthal, These churches were organized in 1884- '93, and the fol- 
lowing pastors have served the parish : The Revs. S. G. Swenson, E. O. 
Stone, G. O. Schoberg, E. J. Peterson, H. S. Chilgren and A. Noren. 
The communicants number about 250; church property worth $12,000. 

East Grandforks and Nyskoga and Grandforks (North Dakota) 
churches have been in charge of the Rev. J, M. Persenius since 1907. 
Property is valued at $14,000; communicant members in all three, about 
250. 

Fosston, Mcintosh and vicinity have four Swedish-Lutheran churches 
which, together with Oak Park, are in charge of the Rev. J. Aim. In 



i8o SWEDISH-AAIERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

all about 200 members. Church work has been carried on here since 
1880. 

The churches at Viking, Foldal, Elvarado and Argyle, Alarshall 
county, have at present no settled pastor, but are served by pastors of 
other churches. The congregation at Alvarado has a church edifice 
worth $4,000 and a membership of about 60, 

Churches in South Dakota. — The Minnesota Conference has 
conducted a grand mission in this state. In the early territorial days 
Swedish-Lutheran ministers came and visited their countrymen who had 
begun to settle on these wide prairies. The pioneer ministers were the 
Revs. S. G. Larson (1869), S. P. A. Lindahl, C. L. Backstrom and 
Hocanzon. At present twelve ministers of the Conference have their 
work assigned to this state, where twenty-eight churches have been 
established. There are 2,500 communicant members in the state and the 
church property is worth over $100,000. 

Churches in North Dakota. — The pioneer ministers in this state 
are the Revs. S. Udden, M. Spongberg, J. P. Mattson, and J. O. Ca- 
vallin, who, at present, is traveling missionary. At present seven minis- 
ters are in the field. The twenty-five churches in North Dakota number 
about 1,200 communicants, and the church property is worth about 
$75,000. 

Churches in Canada. — The Minnesota Conference has for the last 
twenty years conducted missionary work in Canada, with the result that 
about thirty congregations have been established and sixteen churches 
built at a cost of about $70,000. There are in this field about 1,200 com- 
municant members. The Rev. L. P. Bergstrom is superintendent for 
these missions. The churches in Canada are located at Winnepeg, Tyn- 
dall, Scandinavia, Danvers and Whitemouth, Manitoba; Kenora, Port 
Arthur and Fort William, Ontario ; New Stockholm, Percival, Flemming, 
Dubue and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Clausholm, Stavely, Calgary, 
Stettler, Valley City, Burnt Lake, Wetaskiwin, Battle Lake, Edberg, 
Camrose, Calmar, Twin Creek and Falun in Alberta. 

Benevolent Institutions of the ^Minnesota Conference. — Under 
the incorporate name of The Tabitha Society of the State of Minne- 
sota, the Swedish Lutheran Minnesota Conference conducts its charitable 
work among sick and aged. From an insignificant beginning thirty 
years ago the work has developed so that it now comprises three distinct 
institutions ; Bethesda Hospital, Bethesda Deaconess Home and Bethesda 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



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i82 SWEDISH-AMERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

Old People's Home. The Tabitha Society was incorporated on the 8th 
of November, 1880. Every voting member of the Swedish-Lutheran 
Minnesota Conference is a member of the Society. The incorporators 
were Rev. E. Norelius, D. D., Rev. A. P. jMonten, Rev. P. Sjoblom, 
Rev. J. Ternstedt, Rev. A. F. Tornell, and Messrs. Herman Stocken- 
strom, John Bodin, U. M. Bergstrom and J. W. Anderson. 

The question of establishing a hospital was brought before the Con- 
ference at its meeting at Fish Lake, ]\Iinnesota, in the fall of 1880, by 
reason of a communication from the first Swedish-Lutheran Church of 
St. Paul, presented by its pastor. Rev. A. P. Monten. This question 
was then referred to the Tabitha Society with the following words of 
encouragement: "The Conference has heard with pleasure the presen- 
tation from the First Swedish-Lutheran Church of St. Paul about the 
need of a hospital in that city, and since a society has been organized 
for charitable purposes the Conference recommends that said society 
take charge of the hospital work, and hopes that all the congregations 
will take interest in this work and contribute to its success." 

Rev. A. P. Alonten had previously secured a tract of land, about 
eight acres, on the east side of Lake Como, for $6,000. This property 
was transferred to the Tabitha Society for the same amount. The 
money was secured by a general subscription in the congregations so- 
licited by Rev. Monten. On the acquired property was a good size 
house, which by a few minor improvements was made serviceable as a 
hospital. It opened its doors for the sick under the name of Bethesda 
Hospital on the first day of March, 1883. In spite of the distance, 
three and one-half miles from the center of the city, and want of 
proper communications, the number of patients soon rose to 20, being 
all that could be accommodated. Dr. Cassel served as the first physician 
and surgeon. 

The founders evidently did not estimate the cost of maintaining 
a hospital. Most of the patients were charity cases and no other ade- 
quate income was provided for. In less than one year a deficit of $4,000 
appeared in the running expense-account. The Conference now ordered 
that no charity patients could be received until the debts were paid. 
Under these circumstances the Board of Directors were compelled to 
close the hospital in February, 1884, Year after year the board was 
obliged to report that the hospital remained closed. No one within the 
Conference was willing to take up the work and shoulder the many 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 183 

difficulties that seemed to be in the way for this work. The following 
ministers were called as superintendents: Rev. C. M. Ryden, G. A. 
Stenborg, J. Magny, A. F. Tornell, S. Anderson, but all declined. Rev. 
C. M. Ryden was called a second time. He accepted the call, but the 
board reports the following year: "The hospital is still closed. Rev. 
Ryden has become completely tired out from his vain attempts to 
awaken interest for this cause and has resigned." In 1889 the board's 
report reads: "No interest is found for the hospital and it seems that 
none can be awakened." 

The Conference now decided to offer its property to a charitable 
association in the Twin Cities, but the terms were not satisfactory; 
wherefore the property remained in the possession of the society. For 
the second time Rev. J. Magny was called as superintendent, but he did 
not accept the call. Next Rev. C. B. L. Boman was called, but he also 
declined. It seemed futile to extend more calls to men within the Con- 
ference. 

In the spring of 1891 Rev. C. A. Hultkrans, of Genesee, Illinois, 
was called as superintendent. He accepted the call and entered upon his 
duties October 1st the same year. The hospital debt was then $8,000, 
bearing 7 or 8 per cent interest. It soon became apparent that nothing 
could be done as long as the hospital was closed. A request was sent 
to the Conference by the Board of Directors, asking permission to open 
the hospital as soon as they deemed it practicable. This was granted. 
It was considered unwise to open the old hospital, at Lake Como. A 
new centrally located property was bought for the sum of $16,000, which 
after a few improvements having been made, could serve as a hospital ; 
after an interruption in the work of eight years Bethesda Hospital again 
opened its doors for the sick on the 8th day of March, 1892. 

The new Bethesda Hospital could accomodate only 30 patients and 
became crowded in less than one month, but had to serve as it was for 
four years. In 1896 the hospital was again closed, but only ftfr six 
months, in order to be remodeled and enlarged. These improvements, 
which amounted to $20,000, gave the hospital modern conveniences and 
a capacity of 50 beds. The Board of Directors were now obliged to 
report over $30,000 debts against the hospital, consequently the pro- 
gress was not viewed with unmingled pleasure. Some even feared 
that these debts would ruin both the Conference and the institution; 
but from that time the hospital has been able to report a net gain every 



i84 



SWEDISH-A^IERICANS OF MINNESOTA 




SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 185 

year. This has given new hopes to all. The centennial year, 1900, the 
Conference decided to wipe out all its debts. Bethesda Hospital then 
received $17,000. This was a great help and a strong acknowledgment 
of the hospital work. Besides about $2,000 is received every year from 
the congregations and individuals for the care of charity patients. 

In 1901 the large residence on the north half of the block on which 
the hospital is situated, was bought for a home for the Sisters and 
Nurses and is valued at $20,000. 

In 1904 another addition to Bethesda Hospital was erected at a 
cost of $20,000. This addition is built of fire-proof material and con- 
tains 14 private rooms and a beautiful chapel. 

In 1905 the last quarter of the hospital block was acquired. The 
work has continued to grow and more room has always been in demand. 
In 1908 a large residence on the adjoining block was bought in order to 
secure more room for the working stafY. Encouraged by a donation of 
$5,000 from Mr. J. J. Hill, and in the hope that other wealthy citizens 
would do likewise, the Conference authorized the Board of Directors 
to erect a large first-class main building to Bethesda Hospital. The 
foundation was laid in the fall of 1908 and the building was completed 
in P^bruary, 1910. This beautiful building is constructed of fire-proof 
materials and according to the most modern and sanitary ideas, with 
mechanical ventilation, public and private baths on each floor, passenger 
elevator, electric light and signal system, first-class operating rooms, 
laboratory and drug store. The patients' rooms are large with high ceil- 
ings, double paneled doors, big windows and sanitary carpet floors, 
well heated and ventilated. The finishing is of best quartersawed oak. The 
first floor corridor is wainscotted with Italian marble. Nothing has 
been spared that could help to make everything for the sick as com- 
fortable as possible. The building was opened for public inspection 
and dedicated on the 20th of February, 1910. 

The present capacity of Bethesda Hospital is 125 beds. Up to 
January, 1910, 11,907 patients have been received and treated. During 
the past year 1,045, and the management hopes in the future to receive 
twice that number annually. 

The importance of a work which deals with so many people during 
the most critical moments of their life cannot be overestimated. It has 
become a matter of fact that all serious sickness can be treated to 
the best advantage in a first-class hospital. For that reason thousands 



i86 



SWEDISH-AAIERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



of patients are taken to the large hospitals every year. There are three 
essentials in the makeup of a first-class hospital: A first-class building, 
a staff of high class physicians and surgeons, and a conscientious and 
competent staff of nurses. Bethesda Hospital is advancing to the front 
rank along these lines. The financial report shows that the institution 
at the present time is heavily burdened with debts. It does not seem 
right that an institution of this character, which has no other aim than 
to help and comfort the sick, should be hampered in its work by large 
debts. 

Deaconesses are few in this country and their work largely un- 
known. In Europe they are many and their work is well known and 




DEACONESS HOME. 



highly appreciated. They are the Sisters of Charity of the Protestant 
Church. Deaconesses or Sisters have always had charge of the care 
of the sick and the internal management of Bethesda Hospital ever 
since the work was revived in 1891. But as the hospital grew larger, 
it was impossible to secure deaconesses from the Alotherhouse in Omaha, 
in sufficient numbers to do all the work. A Training School for Nurses 
was established in 1896 and maintained for nearly ten years. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 187 

In the year 1900 the question of establishing a Deaconess Home 
was placed before the Conference by the Board of Directors. The mat- 
ter was discussed pro and con at several meetings of the Conference. 
Finally it was decided at the extra meeting of the Conference at New 
London, 1902, to establish a Deaconess Home in connection with 
Bethesda Hospital. The Board of Directors were commissioned to put 
the decision into effect as soon as possible. By means of the press 
and pulpit this new work was made known and the co-operation of the 
congregation invited in securing devout Christian women, who would 
be willing to serve their Master among the sick and dependent. The 
first probationers were received July 26, 1903. At the meeting of the 
Conference in St. Peter, 1904, Rev. C. A. Hultkrans was elected permanent 
Rector of the Deaconess Home. The first Deaconess was consecrated 
September 30th, 1906. In the meantime the Training School was dis- 
continued. 

Besides the training as Deaconesses the Sisters are given a full 
course in all subjects pertaining to a regular Training School for 
Nurses. In 1906 Rev. A. F. Aimer was elected assistant Rector and 
entered upon his duties October 1st, that year. Bethesda Deaconess 
Home was received into the American Conference of Deaconess Insti- 
tutions at its biennial meeting in Philadelphia, April 19, 1908. The 
Sisters of Bethesda Deaconess Home numbered January 10, 1910, nine 
consecrated Sisters, twelve probationers and six pupils, total twenty- 
seven Sisters. The Deaconess work is thus fairly organized. Consider- 
ing the misunderstanding about this work and other difficulties in con- 
nection with the same, the result has been very good. 

Europe has over 20,000 Deaconesses. The Lutheran Church of 
America about 300. With the blessing of God and co-operation of the 
400 congregations of the jMinnesota Conferences it is hoped that the 
Bethesda Deaconess Home will eventually count its Sisters by the 
hundreds. 

The question of establishing an Old People's Home came before 
the Minnesota Conference at its extra meeting at New London, 1902. 
A committee was then appointed to consider the matter and report to 
the Conference. At the annual meeting in Minneapolis, 1903, the com- 
mittee submitted the following recommendation: "That the Confer- 
ence establish an Old People's Home and that this institution be placed 
under the same board and management as the Bethesda Hospital and 



i88 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Deaconess Home. Second, that the Board of Directors be authorized 
to accept subscriptions and donations and to erect the necessary build- 
ings when means are available." The report was adopted. 

By the aid of the Chisago District a tract of land, twenty-three 
acres in extent, was secured at Chisago city, bordering on Green Lake. 
This location was approved by the Conference. The work of erecting 
a building was commenced at once. The corner stone was laid Septem- 
ber 9, 1904, and November 10, the same year, the Home was dedicated. 
It was immediately occupied by aged people. It has a capacity of 
twenty-four beds and is always filled to the last bed. The Home has 
now existed for five years and has been of great help and blessing to 
many. The property of the Home is valued at $15,000 and is free from 
debts. There is great need of an Invalid Home, as there is no institu- 
tion where these unfortunates can be cared for. 

Rev. Gustaf Wahlund was born February 2, 1856, in the parish of 
Bralanda, province of Dal, Sweden, His parents being farmers of the 
smaller class and in meager circumstances, so they could not afiford to 
give their son more than a common school education. Often the price 
of books and other necessary equipment for home study was quite an item. 
At seventeen the young boy ventured to face the world and try for him- 
self. He got employment at a railroad under construction and advanced 
rapidly to positions of trust and honor. He worked himself up from an 
errand boy to a civil engineer and superintendent of work. After five 
years' railroad work he decided to take up the profession he had cherished 
from childhood, the ministry. On advice of some of his closest friends 
he sailed for America in July, 1882, and landed in New York August 
12th, and entered the Augustana College and Theological Seminary at 
Rock Island, Illinois. In 1884 he was ordained a minister of the Gospel 
and took charge of the Swedish Lutheran churches at Trade Lake, West 
Sweden and Sterling, Wisconsin, and served as their pastor to the begin- 
ning of 1888. 

It was early in the year 1888 the Rev. G. Wahlund entered upon 
his charge at Spring Lake, Isanti county, Minnesota. This beautiful and 
picturesque country community has ever since, or for more than twenty- 
two years, been his home and the center for his activity, which has not 
been limited to the ministrv onlv. but embraced nearly all the different 




^=^^->.-^^i-^--/ 




EEV. GAEL AUGUST HULTKKANS. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 193 

problems in private and public life. The Rev. Wahlund was twice (1890 
and 1892) elected member of the House of Representatives in the state. 
He has been member of the State Board of Charities and Corrections and 
is now a member of the State Board of Visitors to Public Institutions. 
For five years he was editor-in-chief of the Vait Hem, a Swedish weekly, 
and has contributed to a number of magazines and newspapers. His 
ardent work for over a quarter of a century in the broad field of church 
work has made him known and honored as preacher, organizer and coun- 
sellor. During the six last years he has served as president of the St. 
Croix Valley mission district. Last fall he resigned his pastorate to accept 
a call as general manager and field secretary for the North Star College, 
Warren, Minnesota. His congregation offered him a substantial increase 
in salary and manifested a unanimous desire to retain their pastor. He 
will enter his new field April 1st. 

Rev. Wahlund has been married twenty-five years June 12th. He 
has seven children, four girls and three boys. Mrs. Wahlund has a 
good musical training and is well gifted as a singer, which has been of 
great value to her husband in his church work. 

Rev. Carl August Hultkrans studied at Gustavus Adolphus Col- 
lege from 1880 until 1883, when he entered Augustana College, graduating 
in 1887, and in 1889 he finished the theological course in the seminary of 
this college. He was ordained in Moline, Illinois, in the same year and 
received a call from the Swedish Lutheran parish at Genesee, Illinois, 
which he served until 1891. Since then Reverend Hultkrans has been 
superintendent of the Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul. When the Dea- 
coness Home was instituted in 1894, he was called as rector of the same. 
He is also superintendent of the Old People's Home at Chisago City. In 
1907 he traveled extensively in both Europe and America making a spe- 
cial study of Deaconess Homes. For two years he has been president of 
the Foreign Mission Board of the Augustana Synod, and he is a member 
of the board of directors of the Children's Home Society of Minnesota. 

In 1889 Reverend Hultkrans married Miss Hilma Josephson, of Mo- 
line, Illinois, and they have four sons and four daughters, as follows: 
Hildur Ehzabeth, born June 21, 1890; Ebba Henrietta, July 30, 1891; 
Beda Theodora, February 9, 1893 ; Carl Joel, July 18, 1894 ; Freda Eve- 
line, August 24, 1896 ; Rudolph Emanuel, November 25, 1899 ; Paul Bern- 
hard, April 20, 1902 ; and Philip Theodore, February 26, 1906. 



194 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Historical Sketch of the Swedish Hospital, Minneapolis. By 
Rev. E. O. Stone. — Grand ideas grow slowly. They are often bom 
from a necessity. That is the case with this institution — The Swedish 
Hospital. The need of a hospital early became apparent to the Swedish 
people in Minneapolis. Almost twenty-five years ago an earnest attempt 
was made to unite the Swedes and Norwegians of this city in hospital 
work, but the plan stranded. About 1891 an exclusively Swedish hospi- 
tal movement was started. A temporary organization was formed and 
the work of raising funds began; but here it met its Waterloo. The 
next attempt was made in 1896, and from two sources ; but both failed. 

The many different plans and efforts had so far proven unsuccess- 
ful, but the idea of founding a Swedish hospital was still alive. The 
need of such an institution in the city of Minneapolis was a fact that 
could not be disputed. Quietly, but with perseverance, plans were again 
laid for such an institution, Interest was solicited from the different 
Swedish churches and societies, as well as individual persons. The 
preliminary work was executed by such men as Drs. Alfred Lind, 
M. D. ; C. J. Ringnell, ^I. D. ; Oscar Fliesburg, M. D. ; A. E. Anderson, 
M. D., and others. On the 4th of January, 1898, twelve men associated 
themselves together for the purpose of forming a corporation. The 
men who were asked to take this step, aided and encouraged by many 
whose services to the institution have been no less important, were: 
Rev. Carl J. Petri, Magnus Lunnow, Rev. E. Aug. Skogsbergh, Aron 
Carlson, A. P. Anderson, Rev. Emanuel O. Stone, Rev. Olof Bodien, 
August B. Darelius, Andrew Dahlgren, Judge Andrew Holt, Frank O. 
Streed, Charles J. Johnson. The first officers of the new corporation, 
which was named The Swedish Hospital, were: Judge Andrew Holt, 
President; Magnus Lunnow, Secretary, and C. J. Johnson, Treasurer, 
An old dwelling at 1419 Ninth Street South was leased, remodeled and 
furnished, and became the first home of The Swedish Hospital. On 
the 22nd day of February, 1898, the house was set apart for the care and 
healing of the sick and suffering. Unexpectedly soon, however, the 
building proved to be too small and incommodious. 

Notwithstanding the untiring efforts of the Board of Trustees, the 
noble support of the best physicians and the faithful service of the self- 
sacrificing nurses, the prospects for the future appeared anything but 
encouraging, owing to the lack of suitable quarters. What could now 
be done? Should the good work die in its infancy? No ! It had already 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 195 

revealed itself a power for good, awakening in the Swedish people a 
spirit of unity and a devotion to the hospital cause which seemed ready 
to make any sacrifice necessary to insure its success. This sentiment 
resulted in the formation, in 1901, of an auxiliary building association, 
which has proven of the greatest service to the hospital. 

Inspired with the hope of erecting a modern building for The 
Swedish Hospital, that association set to work raising the necessary 
funds, purchased the property on the corner of Eighth Street and Tenth 
Avenue South, opposite the beautiful Elliot Park, secured plans and in- 
vited bids. The contract for the erection of the building was closed on 
September 18, 1901, and the laying of the cornerstone took place on Sun- 
day afternoon, October 6, 1901, with great rejoicing, in the presence of 
more than seven thousand spectators. The three-story structure, costing 
with the ground, $42,000, was completed and on February 23, 1902, dedi- 
cated to the honor of God, the welfare of suffering humanity, and as a 
monument to the united efforts of the Swedish people of Minneapolis. 

Occupying a new, modern building and possessing a surgical equip- 
ment second to none in the Northwest, the Swedish Hospital assumed its 
place among the very best institutions of its kind in this section of the 
country, and received a general patronage not only from within the city, 
but also from the surrounding country. This patronage increased until 
in 1905 the limit of capacity was reached and it became necessary at times 
to actually refuse admission to patients. This situation, although compli- 
mentary to the hospital as evidence of the reputation it enjoyed, was dis- 
couraging to the physicians and painful to the hospital officials, who were 
almost daily compelled to deny urgent applications. The doctors appealed 
to the Board of Trustees to provide more room, and especially more pri- 
vate room. 

The Board of Trustees, realizing the necessity of trained help in 
all branches of the hospital work, as well as the need of trained profes- 
sional nurses in the community in general, had in 1899 opened a train- 
ing school for nurses in connection with the hospital. The growth of this 
school naturally kept pace with that of the hospital. When the hospital 
moved into the new building in 1902, the frame dwelling occupying a 
portion of the lot, became the home of the nurses. It was connected 
with the hospital building and made as comfortable as possible. But 
the hospital and the training school continued to grow and it soon be- 
came necessary to rent outside quarters for the nurses, entailing in- 



196 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

convenience to them and expense to the hospital. That the superinten- 
dent and nursing staff of the hospital must be provided with sufficient 
and suitable accommodations, was evident. The Board of Trustees found 
itself facing the doubly serious need of more room, which again threat- 
ened to block the progress of the institution. But again the auxiliary- 
building association came to the rescue; plans were drawn contemplating 
the erection of a nurses' dormitory on the site of the old dwelling, and 
an addition to the hospital facing Eighth Street. Steps were taken to 
secure the erection of these necessary buildings ; not, however, without 
due consideration of the risk involved in adding to, yes, multiplying 
the debt already resting on the hospital. Construction was begun in the 
spring of 1906, and the buildings were completed in May, 1907. They 
were both, on the 4th day of June, 1907, dedicated to their respective 
purposes. The new buildings are fire-proof and fully modern in all 
respects, and the institution represents today a total cost of $145,000. 
The number of beds is 115 (large wards of eight beds, 5; small wards,, 
two to four beds, 14; private rooms, 38;) ; number of nurses in training, 
43; number of graduate nurses employed in three operating rooms, 4. 
The hospital staff of physicians and surgeons numbers 20 ; resident house 
staff, 5. 

The first Superintendent of the Swedish Hospital was Sister Bo- 
thilda Swenson, from the Immanuel Deaconess Institute, Omaha, Ne- 
braska, who took charge at the opening of the hospital on February 
22, 1898. She was recalled by the Deaconess Institute in July of the 
same year. As her successor, was appointed Miss Hannah Swenson, 
who served until February 1, 1900. Miss Ida C. L. Isaacson was appointed 
Superintendent in February, 1900, and continued in this position until 
October, 1903. The opening of the new hospital in February, 1902, 
having added greatly to the duties of the Superintendent, Miss Amanda 
Porter was, in May, 1902, appointed Matron and placed in charge of 
the household and economies of the hospital on October 1, 1903. Miss 
Esther Porter, a graduate of the hospital's own training school, was 
appointed to the position of Superintendent of Nurses, to succeed Miss 
Isaacson. The Misses Amanda and Esther Porter continued in the 
service of the hospital, the former as General Superintendent and the 
latter as Superintendent of Nurses, until in June, 1909, when, pursuant 
to resignations, presented three months earlier, both left the service of 
the hospital, much to the regret of the Board of Trustees. At present 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 197 

the management of the hospital is entrusted to Mr. G. W. Olson, Secre- 
tary of the Board Trustees, as Superintendent, and Miss Elizabeth Peter- 
son, as Superintendent of Nurses. The following gentlemen constitute 
the present Board of Trustees, mentioned according to number of years 
of service: Rev. Emanuel O. Stone, President; Rev. Olof Bodien, Dr. 
E, J. Ringnell, Mr. A. L. Skoog, Mr. J. L. Beckman, Mr. O. N. Nelson, 
Mr. G. W. Olson, Secretary ; Mr. E. G. Dahl, Mr. Jos. Halvarson. Dr. 
A. E. Anderson, Treasurer; Dr. O. A. Olson, and Mr. Erland Lind. 

The Swedish Hospital has certainly made a most gratifying record. 
We hope and believe that it also has been the means of accomplishing 
a great deal of good in the community. We know that it enjoys today 
the appreciation and confidence of a wide circle of friends and support- 
ers. Numerous causes contributory to its success might be named, but 
we believe that these are the principal ones : It has had, even prior to 
its organization, the advice and substantial aid of magnanimous men of 
experience and men of means. It has had! a faithful and unselfish Board 
of Trustees, elected by the Hospital Association. It has been especially 
favored with capable and trustworthy superintendents, and a dutiful 
and cheerful staff of nurses and employees in general. The hospital 
staff of physicians, as well as other doctors connected with the hospital, 
have been the very best both as to qualifications and character. The 
building association has been the backbone of the institution. It has 
furthermore had the patronage of the people and the blessings of 
Almighty God. 

The Swedish Hospital is the grandest monument to the power of 
united effort, unselfish principle and Christian unity, ever erected by the 
Swedish people in America. 

Rev. Emanuel O. Stone, president of the Board of Trustees of the 
Swedish Hospital and pastor of St. Paul's Swedish Evangelical Lutheran 
Church of Minneapolis, was born at Bua, in the province of Bohus 
Ian, Sweden, on the 13th of April, 1860. His father, Olof Hin- 
drickson, and his mother Inger Johanna (nee Olson), were farmers. 
The father died in 1868, leaving a wife and five children, of whom 
Emanuel was the third. The farm was sold in 1874. The young boy, 
like the Viking of old, took to the sea. He continued to sail for five 
years on the Baltic, North Sea, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, visiting 
different continents, countries and cities and sailing mostly with British 



198 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

and American vessels. In 1880 he came to Philadelphia, locating, how- 
ever at Stillwater, in the fall of the same year. 

Minneapolis became Mr. Stone's home in 1881. In November, 
1884, he registered as a student at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. 
Peter, Minnesota, where he graduated in 1892, receiving his A. B. 
Two years later he graduated from the Augustana Theological Semi- 
nary, Rock Island, Illinois, and was ordained minister of the Gospel in 
the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod, in 1904. 

He has served as pastor of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Geth- 
semane congregation at Hopkins, Minnesota, and the Ebenezer Church at 
Minneapolis. Since the 5th of May, 1895, he has held the pastorate of St. 
Paul's Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Minneapolis, corner of 
Fifteenth Avenue South and Twenty-eighth Street. In 1904, when 
the Minnesota College was founded, a splendid institution of learning 
of the Lutheran Minnesota Conference and located in southeast Minne- 
apolis, Mr. Stone was chosen acting president for the first year. He is 
as yet president of the Board of Directors, and has been a director of 
the Swedish Hospital from its organization; also, for many years, a 
member of the Board of the Children's Home Society of Minnesota. 
His principal work is, however, as pastor for his church, with a con- 
gregation of nearly one thousand souls. 

Rev. Stone was married in 1895, to Miss Florence A. Olson, of 
Hopkins, Minnesota, and they have been blessed with two children, 
Olga Irene and Wallace Emanuel Olson. 






^j\iBUC\-'^"' 



. £.MC 







EEV. C. G. NELSON, D. D, 



CHAPTER X. 

SWEDISH METHODISM IN MINNESOTA. 

By Rev. C. G. Nelson, D. D. 

To properly trace the origin and development of Swedish Metho- 
dism in this state, it will be necessary to mention, and to some extent, 
describe some other church work to which it has been more or less 
related. I trust that these necessary digressions will, for that reason, 
be pardoned by the readers. 

In the year 1850 John Tidlund, a young Swede, was converted at 
Father Taylor's Seaman's Bethel, in Boston, Massachusetts. Soon after 
and undoubtedly through his influence, Henry Russel, another young 
Swede, was converted, and soon afterward these two, together with 
their families, moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, and joined the Market 
Street Methodist Episcopal Church. Here they became very active 
workers among their people, they were soon joined by others who gave 
their hearts to God and were received into the Church and a Swedish 
Class was organized and John Tidlund was appointed Class Leader. 

Two Norwegian young women, Anna Hove and Isabella Gilberts, 
came from Winneshiek county, Iowa, where they had been members 
of O. P. Peterson's Methodist Church. They also became active work- 
ers in The Market Street Church, where Rev. M. Fullerton was pastor, 
and they were also members of the Swedish Class. Several other per- 
sons, both Swedes and Norwegians, were converted and joined the 
Church, and it was soon felt that a church society ought to be organized. 
In 1853 Rev. Fullerton, at the request of this class, wrote to the Rev. 
C. Willerup, a Danish Methodist preacher, of the Wisconsin Confer- 
ence, to which the Methodist churches in Minnesota then belonged, 
to come to St. Paul and organize a church ; which he did in July, 1853. 
It was organized as the "Scandinavian Methodist Episcopal Church." 
of St. Paul, Minnesota, for the reason that some of the members, were 

20I 



202 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



Swedes and some Norwegians, and probably, also, because the organ- 
izer was a Dane. Rev. C. P. Agrelius, a former Lutheran priest, who 
came from Sweden in 1848, and who was converted in the Bethel ship 
"New York," under the labors of Pastor O. G. Hedstrom. was the first 
pastor of the church in St. Paul. He had joined the Methodists and 
had later been preaching in Wisconsin for some time. In 1854 Samuel 
Anderson was appointed to this church and Rev. Agrelius co-labored 
with him until 1856, when Rev. John Tidlund was appointed to succeed 
them and so continued as pastor for three years. 

In 1857 two young men came to St. Paul, having been converted 




FIRST SWEDISH M. E. CHUECH OF DULUTH, MINN. 



in the East— C. F. Lindquist in Bufifalo, New York, where he had re- 
ceived local license and A. Cederholm, who had been converted in Illi- 
nois, I think. These both took an active part in extending the work. 
Chisago Lake and Marine had been visited at times by the Revs. Agre- 
lius and Tidlund, and these new recruits took up the work there with 
great zeal. They had to walk on foot from St. Paul over poor roads 
and Indian trails to Marine, Chisago Lake and even to Osceola Prairie 
and Horse Lake, Wisconsin, a distance of over fifty miles; thus they 
sought out the Swedish settlers, and preached to them the Gospel of 
Salvation, without any remuneration; laboring at their trade, between 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 203 

times, for their own support. Rev. Cederholm was later sent to Nor- 
way and Sweden, as a missionary. Lindquist was afterward received 
into Conference and filled several appointments, among them the Pre- 
siding Eldership. At a protracted meeting which the Rev. Lindquist 
held in a farmhouse on the shore of Horse Lake, the winter of 1858, 
several were converted, among them one P. M. Johnson, who afterward 
also became a Methodist preacher. The writer, who was then in his 
tenth year, felt the need of and sought and obtained conscious salvation ; 
and although this was some years after lost for a time, the impression was 
never wholly lost. 

In the summer of 1858 the first Swedish Methodist Camp Meeting 
was held on the shores of beautiful Chisago Lake; held in a grove, 
with an improvised pulpit, and with planks for seats, where the people 
gathered for several days. At this meeting the following preachers 
took part: J. Tidlund, C. P. Agrelius, and C. F. Lindquist and the 
aforenamed P. M. Johnson, then a local preacher. Quite a number 
were converted, among whom were both of my parents, who then with 
others joined the Church. 

About this time some Swedish Methodists — namely, Germand John- 
son and wife, and Andrew Sundell and wife, came from Sugar Grove, 
near Jamestown, New York, and settled in Vasa. Gustaf Newman and 
wife and John Peterson and wife, and a Dane, Daniel Larson and wife, 
came from Boston and settled at Goodhue, Goodhue county, Minnesota. 
That year (1858) two missionaries were sent to them — Wissing Berg, a 
Norwegian, and N. S. Ahlstrom, a Swede, a church being organized 
in 1859. 

As early as 1854 a goodly number of Swedes settled in Kandiyohi 
county, Minnesota, and in 1859 P. M. Johnson moved with his family 
from Horse Lake to Kandiyohi, and there took a claim. As there was no 
preacher or church in the locality, he commenced to hold meetings in 
the farmhouses, wherever he was invited, often traveling on foot from 
ten to thirty miles and preaching from one to three times a day, without 
remuneration, only to return to his farmwork on Monday, 

Rev. C. P. Agrelius and John Tidlund, during their pastorates at 
St. Paul, also took up work at Mound Prairie. 

Up to the fall of 1859 this work had been under English speaking 
Presiding Elders, but now Rev. Eric Shogren was transferred from 
Illinois to the Minnesota Conference and stationed as pastor of the 



204 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 





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SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 205 

church at St. Paul, and was also appointed Presiding Elder of the 
then formed Scandinavian District in the Minnesota Conference, em- 
bracing the Swedish work in Minnesota, the Norwegian and Danish 
work in Upper Iowa and the Rush River and Willow River Circuit, in 
Wisconsin. 

The Rev. Eric Shogren was a remarkable man. His early educa- 
tional advantages were not of the best, but he was soundly converted 
under the preaching of Jonas Hedstrom in Victoria, Illinois, and not 
long after was licensed as a local preacher. He became a diligent reader 
and thus, a well-informed, self-made man. He was a deep thinker, and 
a natural orator, with a sweet, melodious voice. He captivated his 
hearers and, with a clear presentation of God's word and inspired 
by God's spirit, he won many over to the Lord's side. During his term 
of office, from 1859, to 1863, several new congregations were organized ; 
some preachers were received into Conference, and the work was 
advanced. 

The preachers received during his term included C. G. Forsberg, 
who came from New York where he had professed conversion and 
been licensed to preach and had been interpreter and assistant for some 
years to O. G. Hedstrom. He was stationed at St. Paul in 1860, where 
he served two years ; then in Iowa one year ; then became Rev. Sho- 
gren's successor, as Presiding Elder, for six years. Forsberg was in 
several respects a remarkable man. Naturally gifted as a speaker, 
with a fair education, a commanding presence and great self-confidence, 
he was peculiarly adapted for a leader, and seems to have had a much 
greater success than he did have ; for some reason the net results of his 
work were meager for the Church, and his active work in the Ministry 
was neither long nor fruitful. 

Peter Long was also received during this period (1859-1863) on the 
recommendation of Rev. Shogren. This man developed not a little lit- 
erary ability. He prepared a Swedish primer for our American-bom 
children, and later wrote a series of articles in our church organ, Sdnde- 
biidct, under the caption "Borje Knutson och Barnalaran." This man, 
however, soon tired of the ministry and went back to his painters' trade. 

Another man received into the Conference in 1863 was P. M. John- 
son. He served with great zeal and good success for over thirty years 
in fourteen different charges, in six different states. A good Norwegian 



2o6 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF AIINNESOTA 

was also received into the Conference, namely, Arne Johnson, who did 
good service in the Vineyard for many years. 

During Forsberg's Presiding Eldership several men were received 
into Conference ; one (A. P. Burch) in 1866. He served several charges, 
but did not remain long in the work, as he was manifestly not a suitable 
man for this office. 

In 1867 Rev. B. Borgeson was received. He came from New York, 
where he also had been O. G. Hedstrom's assistant. He served efficiently 
the following congregations : St. Paul, Rush River, Vasa and Goodhue, 
Atwater and Litchfield, Minneapolis (First Church) and Lindstrom, 
Minnesota. 

Rev. August Olson was also employed as a supply for some years, 
after which he also was received into Conference relations. He was a 
zealous preacher and won a number for the ]\Iaster. While stationed at 
Chisago Lake he visited Grantsburg, Wisconsin, in the fall of 1868, and 
when he preached in a neighbor's house the writer of this sketch was 
deeply convicted of sin, after a long struggle. After about three months 
he made another visit with Reverend Eric Shogren, and preached on 
James 2:19: "Thou believest that there is one God: Thou doest well; 
the devils believe also and tremble." During the sermon, in the develop- 
ment of his theme, in a masterful way he differentiated between a mere 
historical and a saving faith, making it very clear to my awakened and 
longing soul. He thus opened the door of faith to me, and, by God's 
saving grace, I entered in and obtained again conscious salvation. And 
I trust I shall never cease to thank God for sending these, his servants, 
to preach to me the Gospel of Peace. About one and a half years after 
this event, I myself obeyed the call of God to preach that same blessed 
Gospel to my countrymen, which has now for nearly forty years been my 
calling. 

A camp meeting was held this year (1869) in Vasa, which the writer 
attended. Quite a large number were converted at this meeting and 
added to the Church. Rev. P. M. Johnson was then the preacher in 
charge, Revs. B. Borgeson, A. P. Burch, A. Clausen, C. F. Lundquist 
and others were the preachers assisting him. 

The Minnesota Conference was this year (1869) held in Minneapo- 
lis, Minnesota, Bishop Scott presiding. At this Conference Rev. C. F. 
Lindquist, who had been received into the Conference just ten years 
previously and who had served acceptably several of the congregations, 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 207 

was then appointed Presiding Elder of the Scandinavian District. He 
served in this office for only three years, but during that time, as the 
statistics will prove, there was greater success than during any previous 
period of like length; and still there were great difficulties to over- 
come — much opposition from without and many weaknesses within the 
work, that hindered its development. 

At the Conference session of 1870 held in Owatonna, Minnesota, 
Bishop D. W. Clark presiding, among others, C. G. Nelson was received 
into the Conference on probation. 

During the summer of 1872 another camp meeting was held in Vasa. 
Rev. C. F. Lindquist, P. E., was the Superintendent and Rev. B. Borge- 
son was pastor. P. M. Johnson, C. G. Nelson, B. Olin, a Norwegian 
local preacher, and another young man, Lewis A. Larson, who felt 
called to the ministry, assisted them. This was a very remarkable meet- 
ing.. The powers of God were manifested to an unusual degree. For 
days many souls had manifested a desire for salvation, but it seemed 
none were saved until the last evening of the meeting. B. Olin and C. 
G. Nelson had preached. The latter's text was Gen. 32: "And Jacob 
was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of 
the day." When the invitation to seekers was made by Presiding Elder 
Lindquist over forty came forward for prayers and great and glorious 
results followed. Two were so overpowered by God's saving grace that 
they became unconscious. One remained so for about three hours ; but 
when they became conscious they were filled with Peace and glorified 
God. The seekers, however, continued to pray, and more and more 
obtained pardon and peace. At 10 o'clock the Presiding Elder closed 
the meeting, or thought he did, by announcing the Doxology. After 
the singing he pronounced the benediction, and asked the people to go 
to their homes and come again at the appointed time in the morning, and 
the campers to go to their tents. But the seekers for salvation did not 
go. They did not even rise from their knees, but continued to seek 
and groan for Salvation. So the meeting had to be continued — some 
were saved and testified every now and then ; but the rest remained in 
a praying attitude. At about 11:30 the meeting was again dismissed, 
this time by P. M. Johnson, and then' some of the general congregation 
dispersed; but the seekers continued to pray, and the meeting had to be 
continued. Again, at 1 o'clock A. M., the meeeting was dismissed by 
Rev. B. Borgeson. Then nearly all of the general congregation departed, 



2o8 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

but the remaining seekers continued to pray, and the meeting had to be 
continued, literally "tO' the breaking of the day" when all but one of the 
seekers had professed their faith in Jesus, and obtained what they 
sought — the salvation of their souls. At ten o'clock A. M. a general 
experience meeting and communion service were held and many joined 
the Church. Thus this remarkable camp meeting was closed amid great 
rejoicing. The writer has witnessed many good camp meetings of great 
power among Norwegians, among Americans and among the Swedish 
Methodists, and in many of them much greater assemblies gathered, 
with greater preachers and many more saved ; but he has never wit- 
nessed a camp meeting just like this one. This only goes to prove God's 
word: "It shall not be by might nor by power, but by My Spirit saith 
the Lord." 

The Conference of 1872 was held in Winona, Minnesota, and there 
was trouble ahead ; yes, trying times ; and our Swedish and Norwegian 
preachers were brought to feel the weakness of our position. Many 
causes contributed to this, such as the growing discontent, especially 
among the Norwegian preachers and people with the anomalous name, 
Scandinavian; and with having people of two distinct languages — some- 
times Swedish preachers serving Norwegian congregations, and Nor- 
wegian preachers serving Swedish congregations. Often the churches 
were composed of both peoples, each desiring to have bibles and song- 
books of their own language, which was impossible. The written lang- 
uage differed even more than the spoken, which, in such cases, was too 
often a conglomeration of both these languages. Under such con- 
ditions it cannot be wondered at that the general advance was small and 
unsatisfactory to all, and especially to our good Norwegian brethren 
who had by this time become — to put it mildly — "very insistent for a 
separation or the dissolution of the Scandinavian District." 

Nor was the work at all satisfactory to the English-speaking part 
of the Conference, which was in the vast majority. Many of these good 
brethern did not fully realize the many and great difficulties that hedged 
our way, and therefore could not fully sympathize with us. Some, how- 
ever, of the English-speaking brethren did understand the situation and 
were our faithful friends. Such were Drs. J. F. Chaffee, Chancey Hobart, 
Cyrus Brooks and others. 

The following reports of the Committees on "The Scandinavian 
Work," to the Conference, speak for themselves. Report to the Conference 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 209 

of 1867: "Your Committee on the Scandinavian Work heg leave to 
report that in their judgment the condition and importance of this de- 
partment of our work, demand the sympathy and care of the Anglo- 
American agencies in our body. 

"The element is evangelical, methodistical and spiritual. There are 
about 75jOOO Scandinavians within our bounds. Not more than 500 
of all these thousands are in the Methodist Episcopal Church. We have 
only twelve ministers among this fast-increasing people on our shores. 
The difficulties of their work are very great, arising from the religious 
education of their people at home, it being Lutheran, and the relentless 
opposition of their acknowledged teachers in this country, which is only 
equaled by the Catholics. These difficulties are met everywhere, and 
all the ground they occupy is by conquest. Added to all these, is the 
universal poverty of our people and the parsimony of those outside of our 
Church. As a general thing the poor only become Methodists, which 
in itself has a scriptural significance. The result, however, is that not 
one of our Scandinavian charges are self-supporting. Those who attend 
the ministry of our Scandinavian brethren, not of our Church, do it 
either for information or criticism or both, and generally will not give 
their money to sustain our cause. Another difficulty in this department 
arises from the language of these people, the dominant party, numerically, 
desiring to use books in worship of their own tongue exclusively. Yet 
a most encouraging prospect lies before these godly men going forth 
weeping and seed-sowing, they expect 'to return rejoicing, bringing their 
sheaves with them.' 

'Tn view of these above facts : — Resolved, First, That we extend 
to this department our sympathy and prayer bidding our brethren in 
that work God-speed; 

"Resolved, Second, That we request the missionary board at its 
coming session, to make such appropriations to this department as will 
place it above embarrassment in the prosecution of its great work ; 

"Resolved, Third, That in our opinion the time for organizing the 
Scandinavian work, within the bounds of our Conference, has not yet 
arrived, and that our delegates to the General Conference are hereby 
instructed to act in accordance with this resolution. 

"J. F. Chafifee, Chairman, 
D. Cobb, Secretary." 

14 



210 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Two years later (1869) the Committee on Scandinavian work re- 
ported as follows: "Your Committee on Scandinavian Work beg leave 
to make the following report: — After gathering all the facts, we find 
very general dissatisfaction prevails among them, and the work is in a 
very critical condition. We find there has been no additions to the min- 
istry, growing out of their work, for several years. Young men are 
not encouraged to enter the ministry, on the part of many of the breth- 
ren already in the work, and in other respects a failure to meet the 
demands of the work. We do not deem it advisable that the present 
incumbent be returned to the superintendency of the work. We there- 
fore would recommend: 

"First, that a radical change be made in the administration of the 
District. Second, that if there be not a capable man among the Scandi- 
navian brethren the work for one year be put under the supervision of 
one of our English brethren, and by request of the brethren, we recom- 
mend to that position Rev. D. Brooks. 

"Third, we recommend that an evangelist be employed to travel 
at large among the Scandinavians of this Conference. 

"Lastly, if the foregoing recommendations cannot be met, we recom- 
mend that the work be separated and fall respectively into the English 

Districts. 

"H. Webb. Secretary." 

These two reports show fairly well the trend of opinion among two 
very different sections of the English-speaking brethren, and comments 

are not needed. 

At the Conference in Winona, Minnesota, September 25-30, 1872, a 
committee of ten was appointed on "Scandinavian Work," and before 
this committee the work was very thoroughly considered. The Nor- 
wegian brethren strenuously contended for the dissolution of the Scandi- 
navian District and the organization of a Norwegian District for their 
part of the work. Some of the Swedish brethren opposed this, among 
them the writer, who sincerely believed that a division would tend to 
weaken a work that was none too strong as it was; and he proposed 
instead that, "Whereas, we now for some time had had Swedish Presiding 
Elders, we now change, and in the interest of union and harmony, have 
a Norwegian Presiding Elder for the Scandinavian District," but to this 
the Norwegian brethren would not agree. This, as the work now appears 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 211 

in the light of history, was very fortunate, and the writer now willingly 
— yes, gladly — admits that the Norwegian brethren were wiser in this 
matter than he, and that of the sincerity on both sides there is now no 
room for doubt. 

The committee reported to the Conference at its fifth day, Monday, 
September 30, with a majority and minority report. These reports are 
not of record, as neither one was adopted ; but as the writer remembers 
them, one (I think the majority report), recommended the dissolution of 
the Scandinavian District, and that each charge fall into the English- 
speaking district in whose bounds it was located ; and the minority report 
recommended that the Scandinavian District be divided into one Nor- 
wegian District and one Swedish District, each with a Presiding Elder 
of their own nationality. Pending the discussion of these reports it was 
announced that the Bishop considered that the matter of constituting the 
districts, according to the Discipline of the Church, pertained to his office. 
To this all agreed, and hence both reports were laid on the table. 

When the appointments were read, it was found that the Bishop 
had divided the Scandinavian District into two, in accordance with the 
minority report aforesaid. But he had no men for the positions of Pre- 
siding Elders of the Districts, as Presiding Elder for each was left to 
be supplied. Later he appointed for the Norwegian District, Rev. J. H. 
Johnson of Chicago, and Rev. Olof Gunderson of Andover, Illinois — 
the former a very gifted and successful young Norwegian preacher for 
the Norwegian District, and the latter, also a Norwegian by birth, but 
now preaching in the Swedish language, which he had acquired almost 
perfectly, being engaged in the Swedish work as pastor at Andover, 
Illinois. 

This action of Bishop Gilbert Haven, saved the day, for this work on 
both sides of the nationality line, and gave it an upward trend which led 
toward better success. Though at first there was some friction and 
unfortunate misunderstandings, these were by mutual forebearance and 
brotherly love in time overcome, and now — yes, long ago — we all became 
convinced that this division was a necessity for the proper and harmonious 
development of the work of our church among our people in this land. 
At this conference one Swedish brother, C. J. Lindquist, was, at his own 
request, granted a location; one (L. Lindquist) was superannuated, and 
one (C. G. Forsberg), took a supernumerary relation, and the remaining 



212 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

effective went to their fields with sad hearts on account of the new and 
strange situation, yet with faith in God, who sometimes 

"Moves in a mysterious way. His wonders to perform. 
He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm." 

So it proved this time, God had planned for us better than we under- 
stood, or dared to believe. 

The appointments for the Swedish District, after the supplies were 
provided, were as follows : Presiding Elder, supplied by Olof Gunderson ; 
St. Paul and Minneapolis, C. G. Nelson ; Red Wing, Vasa and Goodhue, 
B. Borgeson ; Stillwater and Mound Prairie, to be supplied ; Grantsburg, 
A. P. Burch; Duluth and Brainerd, P. M. Johnson; Kandiyohi, supplied 
by L. Dahlgren; Chisago Lake and Marine, supplied by John Smith. 

This was the extent of the Swedish work in Minnesota, in 1872 ; and 
of this Grantsburg was in Wisconsin, and we had only six churches and 
four parsonages. 

The Rev. Olof Gunderson arrived in St. Paul in October, 1872, and 
took charge of the Swedish District. He had with him a young local 
preacher by the name of L. Dahlgren, whom he appointed to the Kan- 
diyohi Circuit. This young man proved a valuable acquisition to the 
district, as he developed into a very good preacher and revivalist, and 
also a good church financier, which last is a gift of not small importance 
in the ministry. His first year witnessed a good revival in Kandiyohi 
and also the erection of a frame church during the summer of 1873. 

The same year in Minneapolis revival meetings were held, a society 
organized, a lot was purchased and a church erected during the pastorate 
of C. G. Nelson. The "History of Swedish Methodism" states that this 
church was built by Lot. Lindquist. The fact is that when he took charge 
of the work in Minneapolis, in the fall of 1893, the church was under 
construction and soon ready for dedication. The money for the lot and 
a part of the money for the church had been raised by his predecessor, 
C. G. Nelson. Rev. O. Gunderson, Presiding Elder, raised about $400 
on a trip to Illinois and the East, and the most of the remainder was 
left as a heritage of debt, when Lindquist in the following year (1874) 
removed from the charge and was followed by Rev. J. A. Johnson. The 
lot had cost $1,000, and the contract price of the church was $2,049, 
completely furnished, except heating apparatus and chandeliers. 

During the Conference year (1874-5), our work was extended to 
New London and Diamond Lake by Rev. L. Dahlgren, and the Presiding 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 213 

Elder took it up in the village of Carver, Carver county, Minnesota. 
At his request this place was visited every third Sunday by Rev. J. A. 
Johnson of Minneapolis, and C. G. Nelson of St. Paul. Soon a subscrip- 
tion was started and money was raised to buy a church which belonged 
to the German Albright Methodists. This was accomplished and the 
work was vigorously prosecuted for some time and with some success. 
Another church was built about six miles out in the country, and still 
another was purchased farther out; and the work was about to take 
firm root, in spite of a very strenuous opposition on the part of the 
Lutheran preachers, especially one Peter Carlson, who was pastor in 
East Union and Carver. But some time later a pastor who was in charge 
of our work, A. J. Wicklund, who had come to us as a local preacher 
from Iowa, so conducted himself that he was compelled to withdraw 
from the ministry. This so prejudiced the people against our cause that 
in spite of the efforts of several preachers, who were sent, there, the work 
seemed so hopeless that it was finally abandoned and sometime later these 
three churches were sold. 

Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, was also taken up about this time. Rev. 
A. Olansen, a good local preacher, moved to this place and bought a farm 
and commenced to hold religious services in his own home, and in neigh- 
bors' houses who invited the meetings. This resulted in a revival in which 
Eric Davidson, who felt a call to the ministry, took an active part and 
worked very efficiently, as a result of this revival in which several others 
took part tentatively. A society was organized and a church was erected. 
Later, a parsonage was built, and still later the work was extended to 
Plum Creek and Plum City. Still another result was the conversion of 
two young men, N. G. Nelson and Andrew Farrell, who later were called 
to the ministry, and, after due preparation, worked and are working 
successfully for the Master. 

At the close of Rev. Olof Gunderson's work in the district, at the 
organization of the Northwestern Swedish Annual Conference of 1877, 
we had nine pastorates, fourteen churches and five parsonages ; total 
value of church and parsonage property, about twenty-six thousand 
dollars. 

The third district period of this history is marked by the organization 
of the North- Western Swedish Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. On the way home from the Minnesota Conference session, held 



214 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

at Winona in 1872, the writer said to the other Swedish preachers: 
"What we need for the better development of our Swedish work is the, 
organization of a Swedish Annual Conference." This rather startled the 
brethren and they were not ready to believe in the possibility of such a 
step. Later in the year he wrote an essay on the subject to the district 
"Preachers Meeting." There the subject was thoroughly discussed, and 
the essay was adopted as the sense of the meeting and recommended to be 
published in Sdndehiidet, our Swedish church organ. In this essay the 
writer strongly advocated the early organization of our Swedish work in 
Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota into an Annual Conference, and demon- 
strated its feasibility. This article, when published, caused quite a stir 
in Swedish Methodism. Several of our conservative men spoke and wrote 
against it ; but the majority of the Swedish preachers were convinced that 
it was the right thing to do, and it led to a petition to the General Con- 
ference of 1876, authorizing the organization of a Swedish Conference. 
This authority was given by said General Conference, and September 6, 
1877, at Galesburg, Illinois, the conference was organized, Bishop Jessie 
T. Peck presiding. The following were the charter members of the 
Conference who were from the Minnesota District: O. Gunderson, L. 
Dahlgren, C. G. Nelson, P. M. Johnson, B. Borgeson, A. J. Wicklund, 
J. A. Johnson, A. Olson, and C. G. Forsberg (who was readmitted on a 
certificate of location), and L. Lindquist, a superannuate, who was made 
effective; and eighteen others from Illinois and Iowa. The Minnesota 
District was continued, with Ishpeming, Michigan, added, and C. G. 
Nelson, who had served as the first Recording Secretary, was appointed 
Presiding Elder and, at the same time, pastor at Red Wing, Minnesota, 
for the first year. The appointments for the District were as follows: 
C. G. Nelson, Presiding Elder ; St. Paul and Mound Prairie, L. Dahlgren ; 
Red Wing, C. G. Nelson; Minneapolis and Carver, B. Borgeson and J. 
A. Palmquist ; Kandiyohi and New London, P. M. Johnson ; Atwater and 
Litchfield, J. A. Johnson ; Trade Lake and Grantsburg, A. J. Wickland ; 
Vasa and Goodhue, C. G. Forsberg; Chisago Lake and Marine (to be 
supplied) ; Plum Creek (to be supplied) ; and Lake Superior, O. J. Stead. 
At the annual session of the Conference, held at Rockford, Illinois, 
August 29 to September 2, 1878, two notable events occurred. Firsts it 
was resolved to raise money for a Students' Loan Fund, which was duly 
started by C. G. Nelson, while the Conference took a steamboat excursion 
up the Rock river. This fund did much good in helping many worthy 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 215 

young men to continue and finish their courses in our seminary. The 
fund was in existence until 1892, when it was taken over by the Con- 
ference and given to the endowment fund of the seminary. 

Second, at the same session (1878), C. G. Nelson offered a resolu- 
tion that "we organize a Mutual Church Insurance Society for the insur- 
ance of churches and parsonages." This motion was tabled on motion of 
some very wise conservative, whose name, unfortunately, the Secretary 
forgot to record. But Nelson went back to his district and laid the 
matter before the Quarterly Conferences, and they all approved of it, 
and a District Association of Church Insurance was organized, which 
afterward developed into a Conference Church Insurance Society. This 
has saved our people many tens of thousands of dollars, and is still doing 
business, and it is, we believe, the first Mutual Church Insurance Asso- 
ciation in the world. 

The following is the gist of Presiding Elder C. G. Nelson's report 
to the Conference of 1878 : "The Lord has blessed us during the first 
year and we are thankful. Yet when we compare the vastness of thei 
field with the little we have accomplished, it makes us sad. We have 
held four camp meetings and, especially at two of these, the power of 
God for the salvation of souls and the upholding of His cause were 
manifested. We have in the district ten pastorates with twenty-nine 
preaching places. We have twenty Sunday schools, with a total of seven- 
teen churches and six parsonages. The increase of members has this 
year been greater than in any previous year in the recent past. We need 
more preachers in this district, and I hope the Conference will give us 
more men and more missionary money with which to prosecute our 
work." In response to this appeal, the missionary appropriation was 
materially increased, and three efficient men were sent to this field, namely, 
Revs. J. O. Nelson, A. G. Johnson and J. R. Andrews. This gave great 
impetus to the work within the Minnesota District. 

The spiritual work, as well as the financial improvement, was en- 
couraging in this part of the field during the four years that Nelson 
was Presiding Elder, which was evidenced by the doubling of the mem- 
bership in the district, and the increase of churches was twelve and 
parsonages one. More camp meetings were held during the summers, and 
more revival meetings during the winters, than ever before; and these 
were often attended by great power from God, for the salvation of souls 
and the upbuilding of God's cause. 



2i6 SWEDISH-AAIERICAXS OF lAIIXNESOTA 




FOKSTA SVEIsSKA M. E. KYRKAN I ST. PAUL 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 217 

At the Conference session held at Bishop Hill, Illinois, in 1881, a 
very important step was taken in that our Theological School, which up 
to this time had been held in different churches, was permanently located 
at Evanston, Illinois. C. G. Nelson was elected Financial Agent for the 
same, and Rev. Ludwig Dahlgren was appointed Presiding Elder for the 
Minnesota District. He led the work in the District for four years, and 
the cause continued to grow and prosper. 

At the Conference session held at Dayton, Iowa, in 1885, Rev. J. R. 
Andrews was appointed Presiding Elder of the Minnesota District, but 
he served for only two years, when he was transferred to the California 
Conference and stationed at San Francisco. At the same Conference 
session Rev. A. G. Johnson returned from New York, where he had 
labored for four years. He was now stationed at St. Paul, Minnesota, 
where he worked efficiently for five years, and the present First Church 
of St. Paul was erected during this pastorate. 

At the Conference held at Chicago in 1887 the Rev. J. A. Gabrielson 
was appointed Presiding Elder of the St. Paul District, and continued 
to work faithfully as such for six years. He extended our borders to 
three or four new fields ; the church property was materially increased, and 
the membership also to some extent. This brings us up to the most 
important and propitious event thus far, for Swedish Methodism in 
Minnesota, and to what may be called its Fourth Period. 

The North-Western Swedish Conference had by this time extended 
over eleven states and, of necessity, was now divided into three Con- 
ferences — the Central Swedish, the Western Swedish and the Northern 
Swedish Mission Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This 
took place at Galesburg, Illinois, in 1893. This Conference was sub- 
divided into three Presiding Elders' Districts, as follows : Lake Superior 
District, A. Farrell, P. E., with four pastorates in Minnesota and fifteen 
pastorates in Northern Michigan and Wisconsin ; Minneapolis District, 
O. J. Stead, P. E., with twelve pastorates, and St. Paul District, C. G. 
Nelson, P. E., with five pastorates in Minnesota and three in Wisconsin. 
He was also for three years pastor of Arlington Hills Church, St. Paul, 
Minnesota. The following were the ministers in the Conference at its 
organization, including the Presiding Elders : John Anderson, C. J. 
Andreen, P. M. Alfvin, Carl J. Berggren, Adolph Carlson, L. G. Edgren, 
J. A. Forsberg, Andrew Farrell, Frank Gustafson, Gustaf Hultgren, 
Gustaf E. Kallstedt, C. G. Nelson, J. A. Palmquist, C. J. Peterson, A. F. 



2i8 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Peterson, O. J. Stead and J. W. Swenson (seventeen) ; and probationers, 
O. W. Carlson, Solomon Lundberg, John Pallin, Chas. W. Lundin, John 
A. Wagner and Claus Akerman (six). So several pastorates had to be 
supplied with local preachers. Then there were three superannuated, 
that is, worn out, preachers, namely, B. Borgeson, P, M. Johnson and 
August Olson. 

We were now better equipped for work than ever before. Yet there 
were several handicaps which militated against us — first of these, enor- 
mous debts on seven of our church properties in strategic points. These 
debts were so oppressive that they utterly discouraged our own members, 
and constituted a wall of copper around us against success. Secondly, 
some stupendous mistakes had been made in the sale of good church 
property and removals to less advantageous locations. This was also 
discouraging. Thirdly, camp meetings had become a thing of the past, 
and were substituted by so-called Mission Meetings in the churches, which 
did not bear much spiritual fruit. But "all things are possible to him 
that believeth." So with faith in God and in victory, we went to work. 

First, we tried to pull ourselves together, so to speak. We procured 
a good-sized camp meeting tent and held a camp meeting in 1895, at 
midway between St. Paul and Minneapolis. This gave us good encour- 
agement in our work, and these meetings have since been held each year 
except one ; and such meetings have since then been held in many other 
places. Secondly, we organized our Conference into a Church Saving 
Association, and resolved to take collections to help struggling societies 
with the interest on their debts, on condition that they themselves paid 
at least an equal amount on the principal. C. G. Nelson was also named 
as Financial Agent to see to the taking of these! collections, as well as to 
generally solicit special gifts for this fund, which was done with such 
success that every one of these churches was saved from being sold for 
debt. Thirdly, we took hold again with renewed consecration of revival 
work in the congregations, and faithful pastoral work was emphasized; 
and hence more of it was done with good results. Fourthly, we resolved 
to take up special collections for a "Conference Students' Loan Fund," 
to help needy students who otherwise could not have continued their 
studies in our seminary. This, on condition that when they graduated 
they should join our Conference and help us win victories for the Master. 
Fifthly, we incorporated our Conference. This gave us ability to acquire 
property in places where we did not yet have a church organization. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



219 



This, in some cases, has been a strategic move. Sixthly, we joined the 
general Methodist procession to raise a Twentieth Century Thank Offer- 
ing, and raised and applied monthly to the liquidation of church debts 
more than our share — over twenty-five thousand dollars. From all these 
developments, we have reaped fair returns, and Swedish Methodism has 
become an aggressive force for soul-saving, for character-building and 
the making of good American citizenship among our people. 

In the year 1902 the Conference was by vote changed from a Mission 
Conference to an Annual Conference, with full constitutional rights as 
such. Since the oppressive debts on the churches have been paid, the 




FIEST M. E. CHURCH, MINNEAPOLIS, IMIXN. 



work has been more successful. Since the organization of the Conference 
the following have been Presiding Elders: St. Paul District, C. G. 
Nelson and Andrew Farrell ; Minneapolis District, O. J. Stead, C. G. 
Nelson, J. W. Swenson, J. A. Wagner and C. F. Edwards ; Lake Superior 
District, Andrew Farrell, Frank Gustafson, Carl J. Andreen and J. A. 
Anderson. These have all been sustained and efficiently aided by an 
energetic and well equipped corps of ministers, who have wrought 
valiantly, so that, in spite of constant losses, by death, by removals to 
other places, by intermarriage, affiliation with Swedish-speaking churches, 
and from other causes, we are constantly gaining in membership, in prop- 
erty, and in influence; not as fast as we would like, but still progressing; 
and for all this we thank God and take couras:e. 



220 SWEDISH- AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

The First Church in Minneapolis was erected during the pastorate of 
Rev. B. Howe, who afterward was transferred to the Austin Conference, 
Texas. The Clear Lake church was rebuilt under the pastorate of John 
A. Anderson, and the same man led the rebuilding- of the First Church 
of Duluth. St. Paul First Church was erected during the pastorate of 
Rev. Andrew G. Johnson, who has recently taken a location, and is 
present publisher of Svenska Folkets Tidning, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

The Swedish Methodist Episcopal Theological Seminary at Evans- 
ton, Illinois, we have a righteous pride in, as we have given not only our 
share of the money for it, but also loaned to Swedish Methodism the 
Financial Agent, Rev. C. G. Nelson, D. D., who has worked over seven 
years — raising money for campus, for building, and for the endowment 
of this institution of learning. It is located on a beautiful campus on Orr- 
ington avenue, corner of Lincoln street, Evanston, Illinois ; is a beautiful 
and substantial building and very commodious and admirably adapted for 
its use. Rev. C. G. Wallenius is President, and Rev. J. E. Hellberg and 
Dr. E. A. Doodsons, Professors. Dr. Albert Ericson is President 
Emeritus and Professor of Homoletics, and C. G. Nelson, Financial 
Agent. 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE SWEDISH MISSION FRIENDS. 

By Rev. C. V. Bowman. 

The Swedish Mission Friends trace their origin to the powerful 
revivals which took place in Sweden about the middle of the nineteenth 
century. The state church, having in its fold every citizen of Sweden, 
had existed for centuries, supported by the state and without the com- 
petition of a free church movement. The Church upheld the established 
forms of worship and endeavored to faithfully expound the doctrine. 
Practical Christianity was sadly neglected and the spiritual state of the 
people was deplorable, indeed. Finally these conditions were materially 
changed by a powerful and wide-reaching revival. In the northern part 
of Sweden a religious movement started, characterized by an awakened 
desire among the people to read the Scriptures and the writings of Luther 
and other pious men. The people would gather for the purpose of read- 
ign, when some one would read aloud, and the others listen attentively. 
Those who attended such gatherings were scornfully called "Readers," 
an epithet afterward given to all who manifested a deeper spiritual 
interest, or were concerned about the welfare of their souls. At first 
these Christians were not hostile to the Church, but later on they openly 
protested against its rationalistic tendency. 

As the years passed on the Spirit of God moved more powerfully 
on the people in different parts of the country to the conversion of hun- 
dreds and thousands. The converts were naturally drawn together by 
their common spiritual interests. The scornful attitude of the worldly 
and the oppression from the authorities of the Church and state also 
served to unite the believers and bring them into closer fellowship with 
each other. Through the reading of the Bible they were thoroughly con- 
vinced that the state-Church was not an ideal Church, and that its teach- 
ings and practices were in some respects contrary to the precepts of the 

221 



222 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

New Testament. At the risk of persecution and severe punishment, they 
consequently refused to be governed by the Church in all instances where 
it proved not to be in harmony with the Word of God. Thus, when 
they realized that the Lord's Supper was instituted for the disciples and 
not for the ungodly, who, nevertheless, by the rules of the Church, were 
required to take the communion, they began to hold communion services 
themselves. This was practically a step toward independence of the state- 
Church. Later on these Christians also organized so-called mission asso- 
ciations for the purpose of promoting the Gospel at home and abroad. 
They called missionaries and ministers, built houses of worship usually 
called mission houses. Because of their activity in the interest of mis- 
sion work these Christians were called Mission Friends. 

The Mission Friends never separated from the state-Church of 
Sweden. But they labored for more religious liberty, freedom from set 
forms of worship and a deeper spiritual life within that Church. They 
were often misunderstood and sometimes bitterly opposed by the majority. 
However, they increased in number very rapidly and became a power for 
the spiritual uplifting of the Swedish people. 

In 1866 some of these Mission Friends began to settle in the United 
States. Those who first arrived made their homes in; the cities, or in the 
agricultural districts of Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. But it did not take 
very long before they also found their way to Minnesota ; this young state 
with its great resources. Some of these poor but thrifty iinmigrants 
settled in the towns and cities of the Mississippi valley, others, preferring 
to till the soil, took up homesteads either in the wooded districts in the 
eastern part of the state or on the fertile prairies farther west. Thus 
in 1868 we find a few Mission Friends located at Lake City, Red Wing, 
St. Paul, Minneapolis and in Kandiyohi county. Their number increased 
continually by the arrival of other immigrants from Sweden and by set- 
tlers from other states who scattered over a very large territory. In 
Goodhue, Chisago, Isanti, Meeker, Renville, Kandiyohi, Swift and Pope 
counties they settled down to build their own homes at this early date. 
They were, of course, not very numerous. In 1870 probably less than 
one hundred Mission Friends had settled in Minnesota. 

The first religious services held by the Mission Friends in our state 
were meetings for prayer, reading of the Bible, testimonies and the 
singing of Gospel hymns. These meetings were comparatively small and 
very unpretentious and conducted exclusively by laymen. In 1867 such 





Eev. P, Undeen. 




Rev. J. P. Eodberg. 



Eev. A. Sundberg. 




\-:--:v:>l, 



Eev. T. A 



njou. 




Eev. C. M. Youngquist. 



Eev. J. G. Sjoqvist. 
PIONEEE MISSION FRIEXDS' PEEACHEES IN MINNESOTA. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 225 

meetings were held in Kandiyohi county by Mr. John Rodman. For 
some time no other reHgious services were held among the Swedish 
settlers in this part of the state. In 1868 Mr. Nels Silvander of Red 
Wing, began to hold meetings of the same character in that city. About 
the same time such meetings were being held also in St. Paul. Mr. John 
Anjou, a theological student, and Mr. O. Berggren, seem to have been 
the leaders at that time. They even organized a Young Men's Christian 
Association, but it was dissolved later on. Mr. Anjou also visited Min- 
neapolis to conduct meetings among the Mission Friends in that city. 
In this spontaneous and very unpretentious way the Mission Friends' 
movement in Minnesota originated. 

These meetings were originally intended to supplement the services 
in the churches of the Lutheran Augustana Synod, not in any way to 
counteract them. As a rule the Mission Friends had united with these 
churches and intended to remain as loyal members, though they held these 
supplementary meetings. They could not see any reason why they should 
not follow the example of their brethren in Sweden in this respect. But 
the clergy of the Augustana Synod did not seem to fully understand the 
spiritual needs of these Christians nor their object of holding meetings 
of this kind. Consequently they used their influence against them. As a 
result a very unpleasant friction was soon experienced which made a 
co-operation between the Augustana Synod and the Mission Friends very 
difficult, if not impossible. 

The laymen already mentioned were in fact the first ministers among 
the Mission Friends in this state. Of these, Mr. Anjou alone was 
in possession of more than an average education, and his work in the 
state was of a very short duration. In 1873 he moved to Keokuk, lowa^ 
having been called to teach at the Swedish Mission Institute at that city. 
Mr. O. P. Berggren was later on called directly from his secular work 
to the ministry. He traveled for a number of years as a missionary in 
Minnesota and other states. Mr. John Rodman worked his farm and 
devoted only a part of his time to missionary work among the Swedish 
settlers. At times, however, he traveled extensively and, in spite of a 
very deficient education, he accomplished a great deal for his Master. Mr. 
Nels Silvander devoted himself to the Mission Friends' work in Red 
Wing and took a very important part in the development of the Mission 
Church at that place, though he never entered the ministry. And origin- 

15 



226 SWEDISH-AAIERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

ally none of these men, with the exception of Mr. Anjou, had the 
sHghtest intention of going into the ministry, or even to do any special 
missionary work, but the circumstances seemed almost to force them 
into the work. 

These pioneers soon had the satisfaction of welcoming other co- 
laborers to the field, men with some experience in the ministry. Thus 
Rev. J. G. Sjoqvist, Dassel, Minnesota, arrived from Sweden in 1867, 
and settled in Kandiyohi county. He had obtained a theological education 
in Sweden, though not very complete according to the standards of 
today. In his mother-country he had been in active and very successful 
work for his Master. Immediately upon his arrival he took hold of the 
work that Mr. Rodman had started on a small scale. Later on he became 
connected with the Synod of Northern Illinois, a district organization of 
the Lutheran General Synod, which at that time seemed to gain influence 
among the Mission Friends. As a pioneer preacher Rev. Sjoqvist labored 
faithfully in the state for about ten years. After two years' service in 
Illinois he again returned to Minnesota and located at Dassel. In that 
place and in the surrounding country was a large field to develop. This 
he successfully accomplished. For forty years he has been preaching the 
Gospel in Minnesota and has the distinction of being the only pastor 
of such long service among the Mission Friends in this state. 

Rev. P. Undeen was another pioneer minister in Minnesota. He 
had studied two or three years in a theological school in Sweden and 
had also been in active work as a minister of the Gospel. He moved 
to this state from Rockford, Illinois, and settled at West Lake, Swift 
county, in 1870. For two or three years Rev. Undeen also was connected 
with the Synod of Northern Illinois. On his way to Swift county he 
stopped at Red Wing where he preached several times among the Mis- 
sion Friends of that city. His powerful sermons made a deep impression 
on the people who attended his meetings. In 1873 he again visited Red 
Wing. At this time he especially encouraged the Christians to organize 
a Mission Church and to conduct the work in a more systematic way. 
Rev. Undeen also visited St. Paul and Minneapolis, inspiring the Mission 
Friends to more active work for the Master. Shortly after this trip had 
been completed, he moved to Stockholm, Wisconsin, having labored about 
three years in Minnesota. 

Rev. J. P. Rodberg was still another pioneer minister in our state. 
Though having no theological training, he had begun to preach the 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 227 

Gospel before he left Sweden. Shortly after his arrival in this country 
his attention was called to the homesteads about that time being opened 
in Isanti county. In 1870 he settled on a homestead at Maple Ridge. 
Seeing the spiritual needs of his fellowmen in that district, Rev. Rodberg 
made it a point to gather the settlers and preach the Gospel to them. 
He penetrated the woods in every direction, visiting the people, without 
consideration to his own comforts. For thirty-eight years he lived on 
his homestead and preached the Gospel to the large number of his 
countrymen who settled in this district. He was called to rest in 1908. 
Besides these ministers, who lived in the state, several others from 








SWEDISH MISSION CHUECH, SALEM. 

Illinois and Iowa traveled extensively in Minnesota. Thus in 1873 and 
1874 Revs. J. M. Sanngren, P. Wedin, C. A. Bjork, C. J. Magnuson and 
John Peterson devoted a part of their time to the work in our state, 
preaching the Gospel in the numerous Swedish settlements. 

The first Mission Church, or the first church of Mission Friends, as 
the name is made to imply, was organized in Swift county in 1870 by 
Rev. P. Undeen. For some unknown reason this church did not prosper 
very well, and it was dissolved later on. The Salem Mission Church 



228 SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

in Kandiyohi county was organized in 1871, and has the distinction of 
being the oldest jMission Church now in existence in our state. The 
Mission Church at Red Wing was organized in 1874. In April of the 
same year a Mission Church was organized in St. Paul, and the Mission 
Friends at Minneapolis organized their first church in October following. 
These, then, are the oldest churches among the Mission Friends in 
Minnesota. 

At this early date Mission Friends without exception held the 
doctrine of the Lutheran Church. They accepted the three oldest 
Symbola, the Apostolic, the Nicene and Athanasian and also the un- 
amended Augsburg Confession. In this respect the Mission Friends of 
that date and the Augustana Synod had all in common. But with 
reference to church organization and church government they differed 
materially. The said Synod organized churches, not of believers only, 
but admitted the unconverted also to membership and allowed them to 
partake in the Lord's Supper. This the Mission Friends considered a 
practice contrary to the teachings of the New Testament. Besides the 
Augustana Synod leaned towards dogmatism and a ritualistic and set 
form of worship. The Alission Friends, on the contrary, laid more 
stress on a personal experience of salvation, and preferred freedom from 
ritualism in their worship. 

Later on the Mission Friends departed somewhat from the theology 
which they originally had accepted. The first step in this direction was 
taken under the influence of the writings of P. Waldenstrom, Ph. D., 
D. D., of Sweden. In 1872 Dr. Waldenstrom published his views on the 
reconciliation, which in some respects differed from the theology most 
generally accepted by the Church. He especially emphasized the fact 
that God loved the world and drew the conclusion that He, as a loving 
God, did not need to' be reconciled. But man, on the other hand, having 
departed from God and become sinful, needed reconciliation in order to 
be saved, and this reconciliation is accomplished by Jesus Christ, the 
Son of God. This was, briefly stated, Dr. Waldenstrom's new position 
on this question. Being in possession of a singular ability to express 
himself clearly and convincingly, by speech and by pen, Dr. Waldenstrom 
won many adherents, in spite of a very strong opposition. Before this 
controversy began he had gained universal confidence among the Christian 
people in Sweden, the Mission Friends especially ; consequently a large 
number of them became his followers. Some, however, were less inclined 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



229 



to give up the old theology. But as far as the Mission Friends were 
concerned they still continued to work in harmony and brotherly love. 
The influence of Dr. Waldenstrom's new position to the question of recon- 
ciliation was very soon felt among the Swedish-Americans also. The 
Mission Friends in this country, like their brethren in Sweden, generally 
accepted Waldenstrom's views. 

Dr. Waldenstrom's departure from the old theology caused both 
clergy and laymen to search the Scriptures as never before. An increased 
interest in Bible study was manifested everywhere, and the people began 




SWEDISH MISSION CHUECH AT TEIUMPH. 



to examine the doctrine of the Church in the light of the Scriptures. As 
a result their faith in the Augsburg Confession was somewhat shaken. 
Finally it became clear to the greater number of the Mission Friends 
that such a confession was not necessary, the Word of God alone being 
a sufficient rule for teaching and Christian living. But with the Bible 
alone as norm the Mission Friends would henceforth not in all details 
adhere very strictly to the theology of the Lutheran Church, On all vital 
questions, however, they still stand on Lutheran ground and consequently 
must be classed as Lutherans. This tendency on the part of the Mission 



230 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Friends to disregard a set confession brought upon them a very severe 
criticism from the Augustana Synod, and the breach between these two 
bodies became more apparent than ever before. If any hope of co-opera- 
tion had been entertained by certain individuals it now vanished com- 
pletely ; the Mission Friends movement from now on had to be developed 
on independent lines. 

During the first period of the Mission Friends' work in Minnesota 
the ministers were comparatively few, as we have already had an oppor- 
tunity to see. The settled pastors were consequently called upon to 
travel as missionaries a great deal of the time. The churches kindly 
consented to such an arrangement. In the course of time, however, new 
ministers came into the state, and the situation was thus somewhat re- 
lieved. During 1875 and 1876 Rev. C. M. Youngquist served as pastor 
of the churches at St. Paul and Minneapolis. The following year he took 
up the work in Kandiyohi county. In 1878 Rev. A. Lidman, having been 
called from Sweden, continued the work in the Twin Cities with marked 
success. In the same year Rev. Aug. Bryngelson, who recently had 
arrived from Sweden, began his work in Isanti county. Revs. A. Sund- 
berg and J. P. Grupp, both having served as catechists in the Augustana 
Synod, joined the Mission Friends and labored in our state. Besides these 
men several laymen also began to preach the Gospel and were in the 
course of time called to the ministry. Such men were F. G. Haggqvist, 
J. F. Gilberg, E. Holmblad. 

About 1877 a period of larger development of our work in this state 
began as a direct result of powerful revivals among the people. In the 
fall, 1877, Rev. E. Aug. Skogsbergh, of Chicago, visited St. Paul, IMin- 
neapolis and other cities in the state, holding revival meetings with great 
success. In Minneapolis his meetings were especially blessed with a large 
number of conversions. The largest halls in the city were required to 
accommodate the people who thronged to listen to the Gospel. In St. 
Paul and other places also Rev. Skogsbergh's meetings were crowned 
with marked success. The following year Rev. F. Franson spent about 
four months in Isanti county, holding revival meetings in the different 
Swedish settlements. He also visited other parts of the state, everywhere 
arousing the people from their spiritual indifference. Rev. Franson was 
a very zealous and somewhat eccentric man who would not spare himself 
in the work for the Master. Many conversions were reported in the 
dift'erent localities visited by Rev. Franson. This spiritual awakening 



X 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



231 



continued with more or less power throughout the state for a number 
of years. At times it seemed to have finished its course, when all at once 
it would start anew. The converts, gladly testifying of the Grace of God, 
were sometimes the means of spreading the revival in every direction. 
In 1883 Rev. F. M. Johnson, of Chicago, at that time a young man who 
had just finished his studies at Ansgarius College, Knoxville, Illinois, held 
revival meetings in Minneapolis. These meetings were characterized by 
a very deep and powerful work of the Spirit of God, The result seemed 
to almost duplicate that of the revival of 1877. 




PEOF. D. NYVALL. 



In January, 1884, Rev. E. Aug. Skogsbergh moved to Minneapolis 
to take charge of the Mission Church in that city. For two or three 
years previously a great many immigrants from Sweden had arrived in 
Minneapolis. This, of course, gave the Swedish pastors of the city a 
larger field and an increased number of opportunities for useful service. 
Rev. Skogsbergh naturally took advantage of these conditions. The 
church that had been built not long before his arrival in Minneapolis 
soon had to be given up and a larger building erected. Thus the Swedish 



232 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Tabernacle was built, which is said to be the largest Swedish church in 
America. 

Rev. Skog-sbergh did not limit his work to the upbuilding of the 
church but also engaged in other undertakings for the purpose of pro- 
moting the spiritual welfare of the people. Thus in November, 1884, he 
began to publish a Swedish weekly, devoted to religion and general 
intelligence, called Svenska Kristna Harolden, now known as Veckohladet. 
Being the only newspaper in the Northwest to voice the cause of the 
Mission Friends, it soon gained a large circulation. In 1886 he also began 
the publishing of a semi-monthly Sunday school paper. Both of these 
publications are now published by the Minneapolis Veckoblad Publishing 




..^ 



Xoirni I'AKK COLLEGE, CHICAGO. 

Company. Rev. Skogsbergh also took up educational work. A few 
months after his arrival in Minneapolis he opened a school for the 
purpose of giving the young people, who had of late arrived from Sweden, 
an opportunity to learn the English language and to qualify themselves 
for business. He also planned to give the students some knowledge of the 
Bible and train them for Christian service. The school began in a rather 
unpretentious way, the classes meeting in Rev. Skogsbergh's residence. 
During the first term of school nineteen students were enrolled. A grow- 
ing interest for this educational work was manifested among the people 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 233 

and the number of students in the school increased year by year. In 
1890 Rev. Skogsbergh offered the Swedish Mission Covenant of America 
to take charge of the school, that body having planned to open an 
academy and a theological seminary. This offer was immediately accepted, 
and said Covenant took charge of the school in September, 1891, placing 
Prof. D. Nyvall at the head of the institution. The work progressed 
very nicely under the Covenant's control. Efforts were now made to 
secure a suitable building, a permanent home for the institution. Finally 
it was decided to move the school to North Park, Chicago, where some 
land had been donated and a building erected. In the spring of 1904, 
the school closed in Minneapolis to reopen in Chicago a few months 
later, as North Park College and Seminary. 

Rev. Skogsbergh, who was opposed to the moving of this institution 
to Chicago, immediately planned to start another school in Minneapolis. 
This he succeeded in doing, and in the fall of the same year the North- 
western College in Minneapolis commenced its work. This new school 
has not had the financial support and sometimes not the management 
necessary to make the work a success. For the purpose of securing a 
suitable building for this school the Minnehaha Academy Association 
was organized in 1904. This association has succeeded in obtaining a 
very desirable piece of land and about $7,000 in cash as a building fund. 
These resources the said association has now offered to the Swedish 
Christian Mission Association of the Northwest, on the condition that 
it will take up the school work and within a reasonable time erect a 
school building. This step was taken for the purpose of securing the 
co-operation of the churches in this important educational work. His 
proposition will be voted upon by the churches in the state, and finally 
settled at the yearly conference of the association in May, 1910. 

The Swedish Christian Mission Association of the Northwest is a 
district association of Mission churches, which was organized in Dassel, 
Minnesota, in November, 1884. A few months earlier preliminary steps 
to the organization of the churches in this state had been taken at a 
meeting in Minneapolis. At the meeting in Dassel only eight churches 
were represented, but a great many others were interested in such an 
organization, though not represented at the meeting. This association 
was the first effort made in the state to unite the forces. Before this time 
several churches had united with the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Mis- 
sion Synod, organized at Keokuk, Iowa, in 1873. And the Swedish 



234 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Evangelical Lutheran Ansgarii Synod, organized at Galesburg, Illinois, 
in 1874, also had some influence in the state through some of the pastors, 
who were connected with that Synod. Both of these Synods were national 
bodies, the first-named being independent, while the latter was affiliated 
with the Lutheran General Synod. But as years passed on it became more 
and more evident that neither of these Synods could serve as a means of 
uniting the Mission churches. By the association organized at Dassel 
it was hoped that the Mission churches in the northwest could be asso- 
ciated and a more effective home mission work be accomplished in the 
district. Originally the field of this association included not only Minne- 
sota but also parts of Wisconsin, the Dakotas and Canada. But as the 
field was gradually developed, it was found desirable to organize district 
associations in Wisconsin, Dakotas, Canada and northern Red River 
valley of Minnesota. Consequently the field of the Swedish Christian 
Mission Association of the Northwest is now limited to the larger part 
of Minnesota. Through the efforts of this association missionaries have 
been sent out to work among the Swedish people in this district, and 
their efforts have certainly not been in vain. In 1890 the association made 
an effort to conduct a mission among the Indians near Mille Lacs Lake, 
but it proved to be a very difficult undertaking and it was finally given 
up. When the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant of America was 
organized in 1885, the Swedish Christian Mission Association of the 
Northwest was affiliated with that body as a state or district association, 
the said Covenant being a national body of Mission churches intended 
to take the place of the above-mentioned Synods. 

Before we proceed further it will be necessary to call attention to 
certain conditions among the Mission Friends, which have resulted in the 
dividing of the forces. During the period of the great revivals certain 
ministers and laymen, who were more zealous and enthusiastic than sound 
and practical^ became exceedingly radical in their efforts to secure, what 
they considered, a necessary reform. In regard to church organizations 
they advocated an almost revolutionary change, condemning all organized 
bodies of churches on the ground that no such organizations are spoken 
of in the New Testament. They insisted that every church should be 
absolutely independent and, as such, should ordain ministers and call 
missionaries independently of all other churches. Some were also opposed 
to the churches having settled pastors wnth a stated salary, and they even 
objected to the custom of keeping an ordinary church record. Simulta- 



SWEDISH-AAIERICANS OF MINNESOTA 235 




SWEDitill :\iitfyiUX CHURCH, MINNEAPOLIS, N. E. 



236 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

neously they advanced some very radical views on sanctification and kin- 
dred subjects. Some who advanced these ideas were, of course, less 
radical than others, but the larger number of Mission Friends were not 
at all in favor of this kind of a reform, and would not venture into 
any experiments along these lines. In our state these new ideas were 
propagated especially by Rev. Aug. Davis and several of his admirers. 
Rev. Davis made himself noted by his rather stormy meetings and 
peculiar ideas and methods in general. By his agitation a very painful 
friction was experienced in the Mission Church at Alinneapolis, which 
finally divided the church, the followers of Davis gathering around him 
started a church of their own. Rev. Davis' preaching had similar effects 
also in many other places in the state. Those who in this way were 
influenced to withdraw from the Mission churches usually called them- 
selves "The Free." 

It did not take very long before one could notice a division among 
The Free, some being more conservative, while others, rallying around 
Mr. Davis, were extremely radical, and in many instances fanatical. 
Living in Minneapolis and being, for a time at least, almost idealized 
by his followers. Rev. Davis was in a position to put his stamp on The 
Free movement in Minnesota. In 1889 Mr. Davis and his supporters 
organized the Scandinavian Christian Mission Society of the United 
States. This organization, however, has only had a local influence. The 
more conservative element of The Free has had more success in the 
work and seems to gradually absorb their more radical brethren. In 
1908 they organized the Swedish Free Church of America. 

The American Congregationalists have also had some influence on 
the Mission Friends, with the result that a number of Mission churches 
have joined the American Congregational Church. The attention of the 
Congregationalists was called to the Mission Friends, especially by Rev. 
T. \V. Montgomery, D. D., who in 1884 traveled extensively in Sweden 
and became acquainted with the Mission Friends and their work in that 
country. He considered these Christians and their brethren in America 
as Congregationalists and thought it very desirable to have them united 
with the Congregational Church. This he also proposed to his denomina- 
tion, and steps were taken at once to bring about a union of the Swedish 
Mission Friends in America and the Congregational Church. For this 
purpose a Swedish Department was opened at the Chicago Theological 
Seminary in order to accommodate Swedish young men, who wanted to 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF AIINXESOTA 



237 



prepare for the ministry. This department at the Seminary was opened 
with the co-operation of the Swedish EvangeHcal Mission Covenant of 
America, in September, 1885. The Congregational Church also offered 
financial aid to Swedish Mission churches which would unite with that 
body. Several ministers, who received pecuniary aid from the Congrega- 
tionalists, and students from the Seminary also influenced the churches in 
favor of Congregationalism. In this way several smaller churches were 




SWEDISH TABERNACLE, ST. PAUL. 



induced to unite with the Congregational Church. As the impression pre- 
vailed that the Congregationalists were American Mission Friends, this 
step was taken without hesitation. Thus the Swedish Congregational 
movement made considerable progress for a number of years, especially 
in the New England states. In the central and western states this move- 
ment has never been very popular. In our own state, however, a number 



238 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF AIINXESOTA 

of churches have united with the Congregational Church. But this con- 
nection with said denomination did not prove to be very satisfactory, and 
a reaction came in due time. The Swedish Congregational movement 
has had very little success in Minnesota during the past ten years, though 
the American Congregationalists support a missionary, who labors princi- 
pally in this state. 

This dividing of the forces of the Swedish Mission Friends is deplor- 
able, indeed, as it has caused unnecessary friction and has tended to 
weaken the Mission Friends' movement. With more experienced leaders 
and a stronger organization years ago the conditions today would un- 
doubtedly have been less chaotic. Of late years efforts have been made 
to unite the several factions, but no practical result has as yet been ac- 
complished by these efforts. But in spite of this unwise division of the 
forces and the friction it has caused the Mission Friends' work in the 
state has made considerable progress. The last twenty years have been 
years of continued development of the fields previously opened. Thus the 
older congregations have, with a very few exceptions, made a great 
stride forward, some having doubled their membership again and again. 
The first built churches have been enlarged and remodeled or given up 
for more spacious and modern houses of worship. In the meantime new 
fields have also been opened by the efforts of the Swedish Christian 
Mission Association of the Northwest, its pastors and missionaries. Of 
late years, however, the new fields opened have not been so many as 
during the first fifteen years of our work in the state, the unoccupied 
fields having gradually become less numerous. At the present time, 
1910, the said Mission Association has three men in the field preaching the 
Gospel, especially in places where no churches have as yet been estab- 
lished. The association also gives a limited financial aid to smaller con- 
gregations for the support of the pastor. The Alission Association of 
Northern Red River Valley has also a missionary who devotes himself 
to the work in the northwestern part of the state. For the last few years 
this home mission work has had an average income of about $4,000 a 
year. Thus a considerable home mission w'ork is still carried on by the 
Mission Friends of Minnesota. 

At the present time 86 churches and 67 mission stations in the state 
are represented by the Swedish Christian Mission Association of the 
Northwest. Ten churches and 25 mission stations are represented by 
the Swedish Mission Association of the Northern Red River Valley; 
in all 95 churches and 93 mission stations in the state. We have 92 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 239 

church buildings, with a seating capacity of about 20,000 and valued at 
about $340,000. The total membership in the churches is 5,173, a rather 
small number compared with the average attendance on Sundays, which 
is about 15,000. This peculiar feature in our statistics is easily accounted 
for. The practice of admitting members to the churches, only on pro- 
fession of a personal experience of salvation, and the zeal with which 
this principle has been applied, has, of course, had a tendency to keep 
the membership at a comparatively low figure. Fifty-seven of the 
churches in the state are formally connected with the Swedish Evan- 
gelical Mission Covenant of America. The others co-operate with that 
body only through the Swedish Christian Mission Association of the 
Northwest, or the Swedish Mission Association of Northern Red River 
Valley. We have 62 pastors in the state. The parsonages are only 
20, having a total value of $41,000. We have in the state 111 Sunday 
schools and about 5,600 scholars enrolled. 

In the above figures are not included The Free nor the Swedish 
Congregationalists, though they are, with reference to their origin. 
Mission Friends, and generally prefer to be recognized as such. The 
Swedish Congregationalists have in every respect ithe /character of 
the Mission Friends and their connection with the American Congre- 
gational Church is in fact only nominal. But in statistics they must, 
of course, be classed as Congregationalists. Both factions of The Free 
have, as previously related, severed their connection with the Mission 
churches and planned their work as independent denominations, conse- 
quently they must be considered as such. It may, however, be of 'interest 
to the student of the Mission Friends' movement in the state to know 
the relative strength of these factions, which have branched oflf from 
the rest of the Mission Friends. For this purpose I give the following 
data: According to the Congregational Year-Book of 1908 the Swed- 
ish Congregational churches in the state are 13 in number, and have 
a total membership of 880. Ten ministers are located in the state. In 
the Sunday schools are enrolled 829 pupils. The Swedish Free Church 
of America and the Scandinavian Christian Mission Society of the 
United States, the two factions of The Free, do not publish any statis- 
tics ; consequently no fully reliable figures are obtainable. But from 
personal observation during nine years of work in the state as pastor 
and superintendent of our home mission work, the last two years having 
been spent in visiting practically every Swedish community in the state. 



240 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF ^IIXNESOTA 




SWEDISH MISSION CHUECH, NOKTH MINNEAPOLIS. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 241 

I can probably give a fairly correct estimate of the strength of these 
organizations. I have found that about 35 churches in the state co- 
operated with one or the other of these organizations. The total mem- 
bership in these churches is probably between eight and nine hundred. 
The stronger and most prosperous of these churches and probably the 
larger number of them co-operaate with The Free Church. The churches 
of the "Society" are very small and chaotic and the "Society" itself 
seems to have no future. 

The work of the Mission Friends proper is strongest in the cities 
of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth. In the first named city we have 
six self-supporting and progressive churches. In St. Paul we have 
three churches, but two of them are partly supported by the mother- 
church. Duluth has two Swedish Mission churches, one of them being, 
with reference to membership, the fifth church in the state. About 60 
per cent of our churches are located in the country and most of these 
are small, two or three being united into one pastorate. Some country 
churches, however, are not only self-supporting but strong. 

The Mission Friends have always manifested a great interest in 
foreign mission work. In this respect the churches in our state are 
no exceptions. It is not possible to give the exact amount contributed 
to foreign missions by our churches in this state, as no complete statis- 
tics have been compiled, and the contributions do not all go through 
the same channels. The total contributions in 1906 from all the Mission 
Churches in America to foreign missions amounted to $2.08 per capita, 
a record not attained by any other denomination, the Moravians ex- 
cepted. And it is fair to suppose that the Mission Friends in Minne- 
sota have contributed their full share to the work on the foreign field. 
For further information on this subject the student is referred to "Mis- 
sionsvannema i Amerika," by C. V. Bowman, published by Minne- 
apolis Veckoblad Publishing Company. 

With regard to organization and church government, the Mission 
Friends of today generally favor a stronger and more complete form 
than did their brethren of years ago. This improving tendency is clearly 
visible among our churches in Minnesota, though very much remains 
to be done before the work will be organized in a satisfactory way. 
In fact, we have only begun to realize the importance of a well organ- 
ized home mission w^ork. And the same must be said with reference to 

16 



342 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

the educational work. The intensive interest for the foreign mission 
has caused the Mission Friends to be somewhat neglectful with refer- 
ence to a proper organization of the work at home. 

Before I close it will be necessary to mention several men who 
have taken a very prominent part in the development of the Mission 
Friends' movement in the state, but have not previously been spoken 
of in this article. Such men are Rev. P. F. Mostrdm, who gave the 
best of his years to the development of our work in Northern Red River 
Valley; Rev. S. W. Sundberg, for twelve years pastor in St. Paul, and 
Rev. John J. Daniels, who spent several years as an evangelist in our 
state, and later on labored as pastor in Duluth, upbuilding the first 
Mission Church in that city. Rev. Nels Frykman, for eighteen years 
pastor in Kandiyohi county, and a hymn-writer of considerable talent, 
deserves to be mentioned in this connection. He has exerted a wide 
influence among the Mission Friends. Mr. A. L. Skoog, for a quarter 
of a century the leader of the chorus at the Swedish Tabernacle, Min- 
neapolis, has in an indirect way, taken an important part in the develop- 
ment of our work in the state. Being a talented composer of sacred 
music and also a hymn-writer he has supplied the choruses in our 
churches with many highly appreciated hymns. For a great many years 
he published a monthly musical magazine, "Gittit," which presented not 
only his own compositions but also popular selections from different 
sources. In this way he has been the means of inspiring our churches 
throughout the land and bringing the Gospel to the hearts of the people. 
We gladly acknowledge the work accomplished by these men and a great 
many others, too numerous to mention in this article. But most of 
all, and primarily, w^e acknowledge the guidance and blessings from 
God. — C. V. Bowman. 

Rev. C. V. Bowman, superintendent of the home mission work of 
the Swedish Mission Friends' church in this state, and an authority on 
the history of this church, who has contributed the chapter on this church 
denomination for this work, was born in Marback, Jonkdping Ian, Sweden, 
January 13, 1868. He was a son of honest working people, his father 
being a tailor. There are two sisters and a brother younger than him- 
self. 

When he was five and a half years old he began attending school, 




C. V, BOWMAN. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 245 

but when he was nine his father became sick and for many years re- 
mained an invalid, unable to work. This unfortunate circumstance 
made independent existence for the family very difficult. As the oldest 
of the children of the future minister had to work one day in order to 
go to school the next. 

In September, 1879, being then eleven years old, he emigrated to 
America. Relatives in Chicago had offered him free passage and main- 
tenance until he should become independent. He arrived in Chicago 
October 3, 1879. He soon afterward began employment in an organ 
factory, where he had opportunity to learn a trade, which he pursued 
for thirteen years. 

In 1881 he was confirmed in the Swedish Mission church on the 
north side, Chicago, Rev. C. A. Bjork being pastor. His interest in reli- 
gion had been aroused during a revival in the Swedish Tabernacle church 
in Chicago in 1885, and from that time on he took more or less active part 
in religious work. At the same time his studious interests were revived. To 
repair the shortcomings of his early education, he now began attendance 
in evening schools, and for several years devoted all his spare hours to 
reading. His work in the Sunday School and young people's society of 
the North Side Swedish Mission church was a test of his fitness for 
church duties, and in 1890 he was elected president of the church Y. M. 
C. A., which at that time was very strong. Under his direction this de- 
partment continued to flourish, and he remained as president until resign- 
ing in 1892 to take up the study for the ministry. In November of that 
year he came to Minneapolis and entered the Theological Seminary of the 
Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant of America, and in 1896 was 
graduated from North Park College at Chicago, to which city the school 
had in the meantime been moved. During one vacation he had charge of 
a small mission church in Escanaba, Michigan, and also for a time was 
in charge of the church at Blue Island, Illinois. 

During the summer of 1896 he was in charge of the Swedish Mission 
church of Rockford, Illinois, and in the fall became pastor of the Swe- 
dish Tabernacle church in Chicago, where he remained four years. He 
was then called to the Swedish Mission church. Northeast, in Minneapolis, 
and in October, 1900, moved to this city. In this charge, where he re- 
mained as pastor to January i, 1908, his reputation as a church builder 
and organizer became well established. His church prospered, its mem- 
bership increased, and during his first year as pastor a new church was 



246 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

built, with a seating capacity of about 900, being three times that of the 
former church. 

Soon after moving to Minneapolis Rev. Bowman w'as appointed 
secretary of the Swedish Christian Mission Association of the Northwest, 
a position which brought him in close touch with the home mission work 
of the state. After devoting part of the time to this work for several 
years he was asked to take entire charge of the work, as superintendent, 
and he accepted the call of the Association and resigned his pastorate on 
January i, 1908, During the two years past he has traveled throughout 
the state to every community where Swedish people live, conducting the 
work for which his past experience and his talents have fitted him. His 
residence is still in Minneapolis. 

Rev. Mr. Bowman wrote a small book, in the Swedish language, 
on the Revival in Wales, published in 1906. His "Missions Vannerna i 
Amerika," published in 1907, and a second edition in 1908, is the most 
complete history yet written of the Swedish Mission Friends' church 
in America, and has been very favorably received. 

In 1897 Rev. Mr. Bowman married, in Chicago, Miss Julia Nelson. 
She was born of Swedish parentage, in Tennessee, June 4, 1872. They 
are the parents of one daughter and three sons. 

Rev. Erik August Skogsbergh, a prominent pastor and evangelist 
among the Mission Friends, was born in Alga, Varmland, Sweden, 
June 30, 1850. His parents were honest and industrious working 
people. The young Skogsbergh attended the public schools in the dis- 
trict until he was about twelve years old. His inclination for study was 
clearly shown during this period. In order to prepare himself for the 
Academy he for a short time took private lessons from Dr. O. Olson, 
then pastor at Alga, later on president of the Augustana College, Rock 
Island, Illinois. At Arvika he continued his studies for about three 
years. Then he devoted his time to his father's business for several 
years. In January, 1869, he was converted. From that time on his 
interest was turned to religious work and he decided to devote his time 
to the missionary w^ork in Africa. Accordingly he was enrolled as a 
student in a Theological Seminary and Training School at Kristine- 
hamn in 1870. Circumstances, however, influenced him to leave this 
institution when he had completed his first year's studies. His atten- 
tion was drawn to a school of similar character at Alsborg, Smaland, 
where he continued his studies for about a year and a half. Finally 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



247 



he moved to Jonkoping, intending to finish his college course in that 
city. However, he was constantly called upon to preach at various 
places and, yielding to this demand on his time, he now discontinued his 
studies and devoted himself to evangelistic work. 

Not long after his conversion, Mr. Skogsbergh preached his first 
sermon. According to his own recollection, the sermon was mainly 
a demonstration of a powerful voice. Though inexperienced and, very 




REV. E. A. SKOGSBERGH. 

naturally, sometimes unwise, he still made a good impression on th« 
people by his earnestness and zeal. Consequently he had a great many 
opportunities to preach the Gospel while he was a student. Before 
long he had gained a reputation as a successful evangelist and was 
almost exclusively engaged in evangelistic work. 



248 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

In 1875 Rev. Skogsbergh received a call from the Swedish Mission 
Church in Chicago to take up its work in that city. But he was not 
inclined to leave Sweden at that time and his answer to the call was 
negative. However, the church renewed the call in 1876, and Rev. 
Skogsbergh accepted it. On October 10, 1876, he arrived at Chicago 
and preached on the same day his first sermon in America, his text 
being "Jesus." The religious awakening, started through the work of 
Moody and Sankey, was in progress in Chicago when Rev. Skogsbergh 
arrived. The very atmosphere seemed to be saturated with a revival 
spirit. Rev. Skogsbergh took up the work with enthusiasm and aroused 
the Swedish people in Chicago. The work in the south part of the city 
was assigned to Rev. Skogsbergh. It did not take very long before a 
new church was organized in that part of the city, The Swedish Taber- 
nacle Church, and a new house of worship was erected. In this field 
he labored until January 1, 1884, when he moved to Minneapolis, Min- 
nesota. 

When Rev. Skogsbergh moved to Minneapolis a great many oppor- 
tunities presented themselves to every wide-awake Swedish pastor in 
the city. The immigrants from Sweden had arrived in great numbers 
during the previous years and the field for the Swedish churches was 
consequently larger then ever before. The new pastor understood these 
opportunities and planned his work accordingly. Shortly after his 
arrival in Minneapolis he began to make preparations for the erection 
of a new church. The Swedish Tabernacle was then built, which is said 
to be the largest Swedish church in America. The work in Minneapolis 
made good progress and developed beyond the expectation of the people. 
In this field Rev. Skogsbergh labored for twenty-five years, leaving 
the church in January, 1909. A few months later he accepted a call to 
Seattle, Washington. 

The Rev. jNIr. Skogsbergh not only took interest in the work directly 
connected with church, but ventured into educational work. In 1884, 
a few months after he had moved to Minneapolis, he opened a school 
with the intention of giving the young men and women who had recently 
arrived from Sweden an opportunity to learn the American language 
and prepare themselves for business. About the same time he also 
began the publication of a Swedish Weekly, now known as Vecko- 
hladet, devoted to religion and general intelligence. Two years later 
he also began the publishing of semi-monthly Sunday-school paper, 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



249 



called Sondagsskol-Vdnnen. To take charge of these publications, later 
on he organized the Minneapolis Veckoblad Publishing Company, Rev. 
Skogsbergh taking much interest in the business. In connection with 
Mr. A. L. Skoog he also published a Swedish Hymnal, "Evangelii Ba- 
sun," which has been used extensively in the Swedish Mission churches. 
These gentlemen also published a hymnal called "Lilla Basunen," to 
be used in the Sunday-schools. 

Rev. Skogsbergh has always been a very active man and capable 
of a great deal of work. His plans for the promotion of the Gospel 




l"^ . 



*-^ 



<, 



i*#? Ill 




TiiL .SWEDISH TABERA^ACLE, MINNEAPOLIS. 
(Skogsbergh 's Church.) 



and the uplifting of his fellowmen have always been large. Being in 
possession of a well developed self-reliance, he sometimes has ventured 
into undertakings which have required larger resources than those avail- 
able. Consequently, his efforts have not always been crowned with suc- 
cess. His noble intentions, however, cannot be questioned. 

Rev. Skogsbergh is a very prominent public speaker, and has a 
strong and ready command of language. Sometimes he coins new words 
and expressions. His voice is strong and effective ; he speaks with much 



250 SWEDISH-AAIERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

enthusiasm; as a rule, gesticulates freely, and seldom fails to make a 
lasting impression on his audience. 

On May 31, 1879, Rev. Mr. Skogsbergh was married to Miss 
Mathilda Gabrielson. The ceremony was performed in the church he 
served in Chicago, The Swedish Tabernacle. They are the happy parents 
of eleven children, nine of whom are still living. The oldest daughter, 
Ruth, is married to Rev. A. T. Frykman, pastor at Jamestown, New 
York, and his oldest son, Paul, is studying for the ministry at North 
Park College, Chicago. 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE SWEDISH BAPTISTS OF MINNESOTA. 

By Rev. Olof Bodien. 

The history of the Christian Church is an unbroken chain from 
the earhest days up to the present time. The Acts of the Apostles, as 
written by Luke, picture to us the apostolic times, the faith of the early 
Christians and their lives. Thus the sacred history has been written 
chapter after chapter during the ages describing- the development of 
the Kingdom of God among different peoples and nations. The history 
is unique in its revelation of God as well as in showing the influence of 
religion upon the human race. The commission of our Saviour: "Go 
ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, and he 
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not 
shall be damned," has been the fundamental element in all that history. 
Peter, Paul and all the apostles preached and practised' this doctrine. 
Thus the cause has been advancing through the ages until today we num- 
ber the follov/ers of Christ by the millions among the nations of the 
entire world. The Kingdom of God has made its appearance differently 
at different times and among different people according to the circum- 
stances, and since it has pleased God to use mortal men for this great 
work, and since abilities as well as characters are very different, the 
results have not always been uniform but the spirit has always been the 
same. The result has always been that the dark night has disappeared 
and Christ "the Sun of Righteousness has arisen with healing in His 
Wings." 

The Swedish Baptists of Minnesota have written their own special 
history and, just as this state is different from all other states in the 
Union, so has the beginning and the early development of its religious 
work been different from that in all other parts of this country. 

The Swedish Baptists began their work in Minnesota in the early 
days of the history of this state, — long before the Indian wigwam had 
disappeared from the banks of St. Anthony's Falls. It was at the time 
when the cabin of the poor immigrant stood near to the home of a sav- 

251 



252 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

age. As early as 1853 we find a fugitive from Sweden — exiled by the 
king on account of his Baptist beliefs — visiting Minnesota. He came 
on a missionary journey to Houston county sent by the Swedish Bap- 
tists of Village Creek, Iowa. His name was F. O. Nelson — a sailor con- 
verted in the Mariners' Church, New York, as early as 1835. In the 
year 1847 this man was baptized in Hamburg, Germany, by Dr. J. G. 
Oncken, and ordained to the Gospel Ministry two years later. This man 
is mentioned here because he was the one whom the Lord had called to 
be the first pioneer preacher among the Swedish Baptists both in the old 
country and in Minnesota. As a result of F. O. Nelson's visit to Hous- 
ton in these early days a Baptist church was organized at that place on 
the 18th of August, 1853, by nine members. The next church was or- 
ganized in Scandia, Carver county, in 1855, by seven members. In the 
fall of 1856 the Chisago Lake Church was organized. However, as the 
members moved up to Isanti county, this church disappeared from the 
statistics and later the Isanti Church was organized by its members. 
The church at Wasted© was organized in 1857 by eleven members and 
another church in Carver, in 1858, by thirty members. 

Time passed and in September, 1858, the Swedish Baptists gathered 
at Scandia to organize the Swedish Baptist Conference. The total 
membership was 160 and there were only two ordained ministers ; namely 
F. O. Nelson and A. Norelius. 

If we look at the map of the state, we find that these churches 
were separated from each other by great distances, and, as the communi- 
cations were not of the best, the distances were felt more keenly. People 
in Houston, Chisago, Isanti and Carver counties felt that the distances 
which separated them were greater than is that which separates us from 
Europe today. It was a rare occurrence to have a missionary as a vis- 
itor and, if one did come, he was felt to be a God-sent messenger. The 
work was advancing, however, and a few were added to the little group 
from time to time. 

Years passed and soon the bugle and drum sounded the call to arms 
and almost every man had to leave his cabin and his loved ones in the 
wilds and oflFer to sacrifice his life for the freedom of the black slave and 
for the preservation of the Union. This was not all, however, for the 
Indians broke out and threatened to kill those whom they called the 
white intruders. Then the men who had not gone to join the Union 
forces had to gather all they could, place the women and children upon 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



2SZ 



the ox carts, flee for their lives and seek refuge in safer places. The 
savage swung his bloody tomahawk over the white man's home and 
family. Everything looked dark and there were many who wondered 
whether the morning of a brighter day A^ould ever dawn. However, 
even these dark clouds were scattered. The war was over. The soldiers 
came back and the fugitives returned to their homesteads. Upon the 
ruins of the peaceful home that now lay in ashes a new one was built 




SCAXDIA CHUECH, BUILT IN 1851. 

and new plans were laid for greater progress than ever before. The 
old, beloved book which had been their companion across the seas was 
again brought forth and the Christian housefather gathered his family 
for prayer and praise to God. 

In order to understand the religious spirit of the early Baptists in 
this state correctly, it is necessary to consider briefly the relation betzveen 
the Baptists of Sweden and the Swedish Baptists of Minnesota. There- 
fore, we shall allude to this first before proceeding further. 

The Baptists of Sweden have written a history so wonderful and 



254 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

so full of interest that we might very properly call it "The Acts of the 
Apostles." If this cannot be said in a literal sense it can surely be 
said if we consider the power of the Holy Spirit among them, their per- 
secutions, imprisonments, exile and their never wavering faith and their 
persistency for Christ. It can also be said if we consider their zeal in 
spreading the Gospel among their fellowmen and their faithfulness to their 
Master. The first chapters of that history have been written in prisons 
and by those who have suffered the confiscation of homes and possessions. 
They have been written by persons who have been confined in prisons 
upon a starving diet — many of them serving life sentences. The para- 
graph of the Swedish law forbidding the so-called "konventikel" was not a 
dead letter. It was applied to the Christians long before the time of the 
question concerning the New Testament teaching about baptism and 
Christian church membership. The Christians from the parish of Orsa, 
Sweden, were brought to court and sent to prison while they still were 
members of the Lutheran state church, and many of them were suffering 
life sentences because they read Luther's sermons, translated from the 
German, and sang hymns out of the Swedish-Lutheran hymn book. So 
long as they had engaged in dancing, drinking, and an openly sinful life 
they were looked upon as being in perfect harmony with the Lutheran 
faith, but as soon as they began to seek salvation for their poor souls, 
and did it outside of the state church, they were looked upon as danger- 
ous and undesirable citizens. 

It was the fugitives of that time and the exiles from their father- 
land who sought homes in this country and found them in the deep 
forests of Minnesota and upon her wide prairies. They sought homes 
where they might worship God in peace and in accordance with their own 
consciences, and might follow the Scriptures concerning faith, baptism 
and church membership. The religious freedom of America was a vision 
which attracted them more than did all her natural resources. 

Among those who came to this country in those days, we have already 
mentioned the sailor, F. O. Nelson. After all the trouble with the authori- 
ties in Sweden, the persecutions and imprisonments, he was finally exiled 
from his dearly beloved country by King Oscar the first, in the year 
1853. He came to Minnesota where he lived and labored the rest of 
his life. 

The religious liberty of this country inspired the first Swedish Bap>- 
tists of the state, for they felt that they were mart>TS on account of their 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 255 

faith. They had been exiled' from their native land on account of their 
convictions. Therefore, they considered it a great privilege to be free, 
and they wrote back to their friends in the old country and told v^hat 
they found here. Hence, others came — family after family — and soon 
a small group of the devout had gathered together again. They felt that 
they were strangers in a land far from that of their birth — strangers in 
language and customs — yet they had their old Swedish Bible and their 
hymn book with them. They felt the presence of God and were happy. 

Another distinguishing feature of the early Swedish Baptists of 
Minnesota was their unshakable faith in the Word of God. In those days 
the question was not so much what they thought personally about this 
or that question pertaining to religious matters, but it was, "What does 
the Bible say about it?" What the Bible said concerning the New Birth 
was a vital question. "Are you born again?" "Are you a child of God?" 
These were the questions which must be answered in seeking church 
membership. They were so strict that one seeking admission must know 
exactly what passage of Scripture it was that he used as a foundation for 
his faith in Christ. He must tell the place, time and circumstances under 
which he experienced that which he called "salvation." When we read 
the protocols from the church records of that time, we find all these 
facts recorded for every single member of the church. The people in 
general had a good knowledge of the Bible. They had read it as one 
of the textbooks in the public schools in the old country, in their homes 
and especially while confined in prisons. Many of them could repeat 
chapter after chapter from memory. Some one has remarked that the 
state prisons of Sweden were the first theological seminaries for the 
Swedish Baptists. A preacher in those days did not know much about 
the laws of homiletics, and did not thoroughly understand how to divide 
his sermons properly into first, second and third points with subdivisions, 
but his sermons were full of the Word of God. Every sermon was 
flooded from beginning to end with quotations from the Bible. The 
prayer meetings were of the same nature. To understand this or that 
Bible verse was of such great interest that, in order to interpret it, they 
would sit for hours reading and studying the Bible. Even when they 
met at social gatherings, they talked about religious matters. The spiritual 
life was healthy and vigorous and required much food. The Baptists 
had not secured control of the natural resources in those days. They 
did not have much of earthly goods, but they were rich in the spiritual. 



256 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

All they wished for was a home, and their idea of a home was not very 
pretentious. A little homestead and "Daily Bread" was all that they 
wished. 

Because of this, we find that they had plenty of time to go to meet- 
ings and to study the Word of God. It was much easier for them to 
go to church riding in an oxcart fifteen or twenty miles over poor roads 
than it is for many today to walk five or six blocks, or to ride in an 
electric car for ten blocks or to come in an automobile. There were 
more people attending the prayer meetings in the log cabins in those 
days than there are today in many of our fine churches. There also 
w^as much more room in a log cabin for a missionary than there is today 
in a large and well furnished farm house in the country or in a mansion 
in the city. The Christians of those days had not waded so far out in 
the gold stream as those of today, and consequently had time enough 
both to live and to fear God. We have come so far out into the current 
that we swim and struggle for life until our faces are as yellow as the 
gold we worship and our hearts as hard as the metal. Oh, thou short- 
sighted Israel ! Thou whom the Lord had delivered out of the land of 
bondage with His strong arm, and with the law of God still thundering 
in your ears, you are soon ready to kneel down to worship the golden 
calf! Would that this golden calf and the dance around it had disap- 
peared with that Israel which found her grave in the wilderness between 
Egypt and Palestine! However, the golden calf stands exalted today 
and thousands upon thousands are dancing around it. The question is, 
will the consequences be the same to us as they were to them ? 

We have said that it was the fugitives and their pure Christian lives 
and character which molded the first Swedish Baptist standard in Minne- 
sota, and we have said that the glorification of God and the salvation of 
man were the highest motives of their lives and work. We are ready to 
say, "Praise the Lord for the precious memory of these noble men of 
God!" May their characters and the power of their spiritual lives be 
inherited by succeeding generations ! J\Iay our prayers be, "Oh, God, let 
us return to the child-like faith which they had, and may we secure the 
spiritual power characteristic of them !" 

Another point which is worthy our attention, is The Pioneer 
Preachers. 

The Swedish Baptists of Minnesota have always been blessed in 
having good preachers. This is true of the present time as well as of 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 257 

the early days. However, in this as in other matters it seems that the 
first preachers were the most respected and loved. Oh, how the first 
Swedish Baptists of the state loved to mention the names of F. O. Nelson, 
John A. Peterson, John Ring, Ola Okerson, John Erickson, John Ong- 
man, John Anderson, John Hollstrom, O. S. Lindberg, A. Blomgren, 
Martin Dahlquist, Frank Peterson, M. A. Peterson, A. Norelius, A. B. 
Orgren, A. Linee, E. Erickson, A. P. Ekman, John Fogelstrom, A. B. 



Hk 





O. OIvEESON. F. 0. NELSON. 

Nordberg, C. Silene and Rev. Armory Gale, the general missionary ! 
There are many others who might be mentioned, but as these brethren 
belonged to the first period — namely, to the first twenty-five years of our 
history — only they are named in this connection. Others who shall be 
called upon to write the history in greater detail will mention the rest. 
These were the pioneers, and it was they who broke the ground. We 
have stepped in now and are reaping the benefits of their labor. 

A fact that should be mentioned in this connection is that all these 
brethren, with a very few exceptions, were what may be called unlearned 
laymen. All spiritual work among the Swedish Baptists in Minnesota 
for the first twenty-five years was done by laymen. They all did manual 
labor during the week days for their support, and on Sundays they trav- 
eled long distances in order to preach to the new settlers in the deep 
forests and upon the wide prairies. The results were great revivals, 
baptisms and the organization of many churches. This has been men- 
tioned only to show that these brethren were ready to sacrifice anything 
in order to promote the advancement of the Kingdom of God. They 
were all men of God, knew what they wanted and were eager to secure 
the results which they knew were possible. Some of them thundered 

17 



.-55 5'A"ZriSH-AAIERICAXS OF MIXXESOTA 

xbe"? irere as rr'uc S5 - ■ .. : -:e iJie Ismbs 

It is esi~ *" - T'ersrsEd thai F. O. Xelscci. b«eiii< lije iiirs: Bipust 
rreicber in Z - ^. ws= oearir loved by ererybocy. AL vxere happy 

-Hrhe:: be carse to tish xber . in tber porerry and distress. In ihe latter 

_ : - ,---_: - : ' . : , rti:i>iox. 

s-irerec : ""Broeijer Xelsrn na- hsxs ': - : ■ - . i at 



:: SIT an:~-'rrg 

-^ -r : :.f Tc~n 
fn, as a 



We iisei tr- rail ' ■ zzt Ac*:-t_e oi L«OMre. 






SWXDISH-AilERICAXS OF iHS'XESOTA 259 



tl-.: - - - - - 

It- . 

his =€rr - 

onlv t: ' his scrmcns for 



\J. if. Krmiberg. A- 



e: 



Who i= th- - 



his great heart, his love for ini=5::-rs 2^ 
cf: ' - 



i 2zi Z7 7 5 Rer. 

.-/ in Minrrfi" : ' anv jears ar: : ' 

:: " ^ : :£st5 ci l . 



as in Isanti sr: 1 :.:- : "es. It is tr - . rrrr oz tiie 



We - . : :- : : - : . -:-- ;i r . - ^ :-■ 

years of his ministry in that cocrrr This is Rev. A- Ziinzrer: 

of the Isir:; :■.-:- :':f' -^.-.-"- " ~^ - - : - 

sota." Ther; in : : ; ,: : - .; : 

this cannot be 1 r : : - ; . ^ : - : :; the r ^ j : - j : - 

Isanti cotmtjr ' ■ - t ' 

it a great jht.: ; j :::: _j^ 

a religioas pliii : r : ' 'J : . ; - -e is n: : 



26o SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

the question should be asked, "What has this man done?" we should 
answer, "Go to Isanti county and you shall see." 

It is difficult to say exactly where the next brother stands. He 
seems to be on the border line between the past and the present. How- 
ever, when we consider what he has done in the past, we want to place 
him among the veterans. He belongs to the class of pioneer preachers, 
and still, when we approach him more closely, we find that he is one 
of the youngest among us today, both in spirit and in vigor. He lives 
in Minnesota and we hope that he will always do so. He has done more 
for the work in our state than the average, and is still the leading spirit 
in all our work. We have said that he is a Minnesotan, but he preaches 
from a platform from which he can be heard all over the world. This 
pioneer is Dr. Frank Peterson, who is known by all the Baptists of this 
country as well as by those across the seas. 

If all the pioneer workers among the Swedish Baptists of Minne- 
sota should be referred to and proper mention made of them and their 
work, this article would be much too long. Therefore, the writer has 
been forced to omit the names of many pioneers and refer only to those 
whom he has known best personally. 

Rev. Armory Gale has been mentioned as one of the pioneer workers 
in Minnesota among the Swedish Baptists. Some may think that this 
is strange as he was not a Swede in language. Nevertheless, the early 
Baptists all felt that he was one in spirit and they loved him as such. 
They did not understand him when he spoke English, but they always 
understood his great loving soul and considered him as one among them. 
He was an American. It may be remarked in this connection that it 
is not strange that the Swedes and Americans have considered them- 
selves to be one in the Minnesota State Convention from the early days 
up to the present time for we certainly have been fortunate in being so 
well taken care of by our American friends. They have spent thousands 
of dollars in promoting our missions and it has borne fruit in the salva- 
tion of many souls and the bringing of them into the fold. 

As to statistics, we shall only mention that the mustard seed of a 
hundred and sixty members who organized the Swedish Baptist Confer- 
ence of Minnesota has been growing until today we have a membership 
of six thousand, seven hundred. These are divided into ninety churches 
served by fifty pastors. Most of them are doing aggressive work with 
one or more Sunday schools, Young People's Societies, Mission Circle.'^ 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



261 



and Ladies' Aid Societies. With a few exceptions, each church has its 
own house of worship, and, as the Swedes are a home-loving and a 
home-building people, they have not forgotten a home for their pastors. 
Thirty-two churches have parsonages and many of these are first-class 
structures. The valuation of all the church property in the state amounts 
to $293,994.70, according to the last statistics. 

Several of the branches of the work of the Swedish Baptist Con- 
ference of Minnesota have been mentioned. However, as the Sunday 
school work is of very great importance, we shall mention a few facts 
relating to this particular field. The Sunday school work in Minnesota 




DE. FEANK PETEESON. 

is just as old as the mission work in general and at many places the or- 
ganization of a church has been the direct result of the establishment of 
a Sunday school. We can look upon the Sunday school work of the 
early days as being of a very primitive kind, but even in this branch of 
Christian activity our American brethren have been ready to assist. In 
the year 1883 the American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania, offered to pay the salary if a Swedish Sunday school mis- 
sionary could be called, and the writer of this sketch was the one who 
was called to this work. He traveled all over the state, organizing 
new Sunday schools wherever it was possible, holding teachers' insti- 



262 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



tutes and in all possible ways tried to encourage the work among the 
children and young people. He was engaged in this work until in the 
fall of 1887 when he left the field and went to the old country. After 
him, Rev. J. P. Rosquist was called and served for a short time. For 
manv years Rev. Magnus Berglund has been and still is filling that 
position. The Sunday school work of today is in a very flourishing con- 
dition. There are 672 officers and teachers and 5,523 pupils enrolled. 

In the year 1904 the Swedish Baptists of America assembled for 
their Annual Meeting in Stromsburg, Nebraska, and decided to establish 




MOUNDS PAEK SANITAEIUM. 



an academy. It was unanimously voted that this school should be lo- 
cated in the Twin Cities and this decision resulted in the foundation 
of the Bethel Academy in the year 1905. Our present principal, Dr. G. 
A. Gordh, Professor J. O. Backlund and Miss Sandvall were the first 
instructors, together with Rev. C. A. Salquist who had charge of the 
preparatory department, and Victor E. Bodien who gave instructions in 
music. For the first two years the school was located in the Elim 
Swedish Baptist Church in Northeast Minneapolis. After two years 
a suitable ground was purchased in North St. Anthony Park, a beautiful 
residence district midway between St. Paul and Minneapolis, on the 
Como-interurban electric line. Here a suitable school building was 
erected at a cost of $15,000. The institution thus places within the 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



263 



reach of its students all the advantages offered by two large cities, and 
yet is sufficiently removed from either to insure quiet and retirement. 

The new academv building is a modern brick structure, heated by 
hot water and lighted bv gas. It contains recitation rooms, a readmg 
room, furnished rooms for a number of students, dining hall and kitchen. 

The atmosphere in the academy is thoroughly Christian. The daily 
chapel services, the students' weekly prayer meeting, the work of the 
Missionary band, the daily Bible classes, all have an effective tendency 
in checking the literary worker from losing spirituality. It is the pur- 
pose that the work done in the academy shall be only of the highest 
order and equal to that of the best schools of the same grade. Each 




BETHEL ACADEMY. 

student is given every assistance so that his progress may be as thorough 
and as rapid as possible. The aim is not only to impart information, 
but also to arouse in the student a desire for knowledge and to ground 
him in the principles of self-reliance, method and right habits of thought. 
The present faculty is composed of the following: Arvid Gordh, Th. D,. 
Principal; Alfred^ J. Wingblade, A. M.; David E. Haglund, A. B.; 
Freda Swenson, A. B. ; William Smith, A. B. ; Rev. W. B. Riley, D. D. ; 
Rev. Frank Peterson, D. D. ; Rev. G. Arvid Hagstrom. 

The Mounds Park Sanitarium at Mound, St. Paul, is another Swed- 
ish Baptist institution of which we can be very proud. It is located on 



264 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

the most beautiful spot in the Twin Cities and today ranks among the 
first-class hospitals in the country. It is worth $111,000, and has 
eighty beds. The institution is thoroughly modern in every sense of the 
word. The founder of the institution is Dr. Robert O. Earl, member of 
the first Swedish Baptist Church, St. Paul. The sanitarium is onlv 
four years old the facts stated above show that it has been remarkably 
successful. It has already proved itself a great blessing to suffering 
humanity, and it is certain that it will fill a great need in the future. 

Rev. Olof Bodien, pastor of the First Swedish Baptist Church of 
Minneapolis, is possessed of the true American spirit, as well as the 




EEV. 0. BODIEN. 

soul of Christianity, in his life aim to unite the practical activities of 
religion and charity with a high scholarship and spirituality. In the pul- 
pit, from the lecture platform and from the literary atmosphere of his 
study, those influences emanate from his personality which are making 
him a strong uplifting force among his fellow countrymen of the north- 
west. Mr. Bodien is a native of Sweden, born in Elfdalen, April 20, 
1857, son of Lars Larson and Anna (Persdotter) Bodien. His father 
was both a mechanic and a farmer, and to him were born the following 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 265 

children: Anders, who died in infancy; Lars, who survived only to the 
age of twenty ; Marit, who married P. Oline, a farmer of Isanti county, 
Minnesota ; Per, who is a carpenter living at Cambridge, that state, and 
Olof, of this sketch. 

The youngest child of the family, Olof Bodien, received his primary 
education in the public schools of Elfdalen, later completing the course 
at the Teachers' Seminary in Upsala, from which he graduated with 
honors in 1877. During the succeeding three years he taught in the public 
schools, and in 1880 located in Isanti county with his mother. With the 
industry and common sense characteristic of his people, he thankfully 
received all honest labor which came to hand, whether it was farming in 
summer or teaching in the winter. He also took charge of the Swedish 
Baptist Church at Stansfield, shortly before his ordination to the minis- 
try, which occurred in 1883. Mr. Bodien then accepted a call from the 
American Baptist Publication Society as Sunday school missionary, 
continuing in that position until the fall of 1887. Having accepted a 
ministerial call from the ancient and historical cathedral town of Lin- 
koping, he returned to his native land and remained at that place until 
1890, when he moved to Sundsvall and continued in charge of the 
church there until 1893. 

On April 1, 1893, Rev. Bodien again arrived in the United States, 
having accepted a call to the First Swedish Baptist Church at Minne 
apolis, his present flourishing charge. The period since that year has 
been a season of unusual fruition in many fields; of results redounding 
to the substantial advancement of the husbandman and to the general 
welfare of his home community and the broader fields of the northwest. 
During the past sixteen years Mr. Bodien has been one of the most 
active members of the American Baptist State Convention Board, and 
is now also president of the Minnesota Baptist Conference, president 
of the Swedish Hospital and Nurse Institute, secretary of the Bethel 
Academy of Minneapolis (a Swedish Baptist college), and member of 
the board of directors of the Educational Society and of Mounds Park 
Sanitarium Board of St. Paul, as well as chairman of several committees 
such as Board of Instruction. 

In the literary field Rev. Bodien is a frequent contributor to both 
Swedish and American weeklies, and is also the author of several books. 
"Salvation After Death," published in 1893 ; "Systematisk Bibelkunskap," 
issued in 1897, and "De Yttersta Tingen" (in the Swedish language), 
which appeared in 1905, have greatly strengthened his reputation as 



266 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



a scholar and an original thinker. The last named especially has been 
classed by careful critics as a remarkable book. Air. Bodien is also 
gifted as an orator and a lecturer, although most of his work in these 
lines has been accomplished in Minnesota. When to his signal talents 
is added a sociable and even cordial disposition, Mr. Bodien is blessed 
with a personality which has earned him hosts of admirers and friends, 
irrespective of religion, class or condition of life. 




FIBST SWEDISH BAPTIST CHUECH. 

In 1878, two years before coming to America, Rev. Bodien married 
Miss Margreta Olson, of Elfdalen, his own native town. Two of the 
three children born to this union are living, as follows: Victor, born 
August 16, 1879, who is paying teller in the Hennepin County Savings 
Bank and married to Miss Hattie Hawkinson, daughter of Charles 
Hawkinson, the well known nurseryman; and Lillie Adelia, who is now 
Mrs. Peter Skanse. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE SWEDISH-AMERICAN EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN 
MINNESOTA. 

By Peter A, Almquist. 

Under God's protection and through the courtesy of the Church of 
England, as here in America estabhshed, the Swedish-speaking residents 
of the United States also have a true branch of the Church of Sweden. 
Like the churches of Prussia and of Denmark it is here small in num- 
ber of adherents, since a multitude of Lutheran Synods have come to 
exist among us, but has more of a roison d'etre than any of the two 
last named. For, while the church of Prussia and that of Denmark 
dogmatically differ from Lutheranism, the former being a middle-thing 
between Lutheran and Reformed, the latter more Philippistic than Mar- 
tinistic, in proof of which we may adduce the rescript of King Frederic 
II of July 24, 1580, forbidding the introduction of the Formula Con- 
cordi into the realm under penalty of death. The Church of Sweden 
is not only dogmatically but, above all, historically independent of Lu- 
theranism. Sweden kept its bishops, requiring for them and from 
them, an unbroken chain of Apostolical succession, adopting the facts 
rather than the principles of the German Reformation. England, a 
few years later, took the same course; hence the Church of England 
has always held the Church of Sweden in far greater respect than any 
other reformed Christian body. When the great Gustavus II undertook 
the mighty task to settle the religious differences of Europe, the Eng- 
lish and the Scotch, the Dutch and the Hessians flocked to his standards ; 
the Germans kept aloof. As long as Sweden was a leading power of 
Europe, England, and to a certain extent, Holland also stood firm by it, 
in spite of the fact that Sweden was, most of the time, ruled by kings 
of German extraction and England by willing vassals of France. Had 

267 



268 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

the English and Swedish churches nothing to do with this? Although 
Charles X suffered the Hollanders to conquer New Sweden in America, 
and although Germantowns and Pennsylvania-Dutch became of more 
importance than the Swedish Hundreds, the Swedes yet kept their reli- 
gious independence which they shared in communion with the English. 
The history of the Swedish colonists on the Delaware is mainly religious 
and explains the fact that the diocese of Pennsylvania has always been 
strong and of an Evangelical character. The Swedish fundamentally 
constitutional law reads: "The king shall always be of the pure evan- 
gelical doctrine, as it w^as received and explained at the council of Up- 
sala in 1593." 

As late as in the year 1865 the four estates of the Swedish Diet 
passed a resolution that the clergy of the Swedish Church should fur- 
nish the immigrants to America with letters of recommendation to the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, to which the Swedish immigrants had 
mostly looked for religious guidance during two hundred years. There 
are still in Minnesota a few churches that strictly follow the mother- 
church in Sweden, as regards doctrine, worship and liturgy. 

The eminent orientalist. Doctor Olof A. Tofifteen, now a professor 
of Hebrew language and literature in the Western Theological Semi- 
nary, Chicago, in 1893, effected the organization and incorporation of 
St. Ansgarius Church, Minneapolis, and served it most faithfully from 
its inception for eight years. In 1902 the Rev. W^ilhelm Blomquist, the 
present incumbent of the parish succeeded him as rector. 

In the same year (1893) Messiah Church was organized and, like- 
wise, St. Johannes' Church, both in the city of Alinneapolis. The Rev. 
John Johnson was put in charge of St. Johannes 1894 and also of Mes- 
siah, 1895. He was succeeded by the Rev. Erik Forsberg, now of 
Eagle Bend, Minnesota, in 1898, who was himself succeeded by the 
Rev. Alfred Kalin in 1904. In 1908 the general missionary. Rev. John 
V. Alfvegren, was made priest in charge of both of these churches, with 
the aid of an assistant. There is yet another mission in northwest Min- 
neapolis. 

St. Sigfrid's Church, St. Paul, was organized in 1898. The Rev. 
John V. Alfvegren served it as a priest in charge, 1896-'98, and as rec- 
tor, 1898-1903. He was succeeded by the Rev. Schurer Werner who 
had previously supplied it for some time. Mr. Werner died as rector 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 269 

of this parish in 1904 and was succeeded by the Rev. John E. Almfeldt, 
who resigned this parish in 1909 and accepted a call to Galesburg, 
Illinois. 

Emanuel Church, Litchfield, was organized in 1891 and incorporated 
the same year. The Rev. Schurer Werner was, from 1898 till 1903, 
rector of this parish. His successor, Rev. Erik Forsberg, left this charge 
for that of Eagle Bend in 1905 and was succeeded by the Rev. Louis 
E. GuUander, now of Port Arthur, Canada. The parish is now under 
the supervision of the general missionary, who has there an assistant. 

St. Sigfrid's Church, Cokato, organized in 1892, had for some 
time its own rector, but is now served in connection with Litchfield. 

As already stated, the church of Eagle Bend is served by the Rev. 
Erik Forsberg. Rev. Knut Totterman, now in Sweden, Rev. Louis 
Rietz, now dead, and Rev. C. A. Regnell, who went to the Augustana 
Synod, come in succession as incumbents of St. Peter's Church, Du- 
luth, whose present rector is the Rev. William E. Harmann. 

At Aitken, the Church of St. Johannes is served by the Rev. Alex- 
ander Brunner, and the Church of St. John, Lake Park, formerly in 
charge of Rev. Alfred Kalin, Rev. John E. Almfeldt and Rev. Olof 
Nordbladh, in succession, is served by the Rector of Detroit. Mis- 
sionary work has also been undertaken at Strandvik. The Rev. August 
Andreen is rector of Rush City and adjacent parts. 

The Rev. Peter A. Almquist was born in Svenljunga, the county- 
seat of Kind, Vestergotland, Sweden, December 6, 1842. He studied 
in the high school and college of Gothenburg in 1856-66, and at Up- 
sala until Christmastide, 1867. He was then ordered by the Archbishop 
and Consistory of Upsala to have charge of the parish of Hacksta and 
Loth in the archdiocese to the extent allowed a preacher, not yet or- 
dained a priest. Mr. Almquist left said appointment and emigrated to 
America in 1869, then assisted in Chicago and was by Bishop White- 
house ordained as priest at the request of Archbishop H. Reuterdahl, in 
1870. He was a missionary in ^Michigan and rector of St. John's, Tustin, 
1870-'81; missionary at Danville, Illinois, 1881-'87; had charge of the 
Swedish parish of St. Ansgarius, Providence, Rhode Island, a few 
months of said year and served as missionary in Boston, Massachusetts, 
in 1887- '93. He also attended the council of Upsala, Sweden, and min- 



270 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

istered to the people of Emanuel Church, Astoria, L. I., and occasionally 
to those of St. Bartholomew's Swedish Chapel. In 1894-'97 he was 
chaplain and instructor in classical and modern languages at the mili- 
tary academy of Knoxville, Illinois, and in 1897-'98 missionary in North 
Dakota, residing at Adams, Walsh county; resigning said appointment 
on account of badly impaired eye-sight in 1901. From that year Mr. 
Almquist has been a resident of St. Paul. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE SWEDE OF ^HXNESOTA IX EDUCATIOXAL AFFAIRS. 

By Carl Schulz, Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

The public schools of Minnesota are the result of gradual growth. 
What has seemed best in the systems of older states has been culled 
from them for use here, with the necessary adaptations to the individual 
needs of the people and country. The system, as it stands, mirrors 
the ideas of the inhabitants touching the duty the state owes itself in 
training toward intelligence and a useful and efficient life. 

The foreign immigration to Minnesota has been mostly from coun- 
tries in which the standard of intelligence is high, and education is 
general. Among Europeans who have settled here, none represents more 
brains, better training and a keener sense of the duties, as well as the 
rights of citizenship, than does the Swede. His loyalty to the mother 
country has made it possible for him to be even more devoted to the 
interests, more committed to the welfare of his adopted land. 

As a rule, the Swedish immigrants settled in communities, thus 
making it possible for them to found churches and maintain their reli- 
gious work. Along with these, has come the public school. The Min- 
nesota Swede is distinguished for his interest in public education, and 
his readiness to pay taxes for the support of good schools. These people 
have taken a leading and honorable part in shaping the administration 
of school affairs. They serve willingly, and give of their time freely 
as members of local school boards. Not only are their own homes 
attractive and inviting, but these characteristics are reflected in the 
school buildings that adorn the communities in which they are the con- 
trolling factor. 

It is not alone, however, in the establishment and support of schools 
that the Swede has made his influence felt; his sons and daughters 
have become teachers and leaders in public school work. They have 
a large and honored share in educational progress as superintendents 

271 



272 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

of counties and cities, as principals and teachers in high schools and 
common schools, as specialists in all advance work of the public school, 
as professors in the normal schools and in the state university. Many 
of them are noted for original research. 

They also maintain a number of private academies and preparatory 
schools. Gustavus Adolphus College of St. Peter was founded, and is 
now supported and maintained by the Swedish Lutherans of Minnesota 
and the Northwest. 



GusTAVu.s Adolphus College. — Among those, who in the middle 
of the nineteenth century left hearth and home in the old world to seek 
new homes in America, we find the immigrants from Sweden, "The 
Land of the Midnight Sun." As early as 1638 they had established 
themselves on the wooded banks of the Delaware, and there, amidst 
many trials, laid the foundation of one of the thirteen colonies. What 
those Swedish pioneers accomplished in the development of their adopt- 
ive land, in the way of establishing churches, bringing up their chil- 
dren in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, making them loyal 
citizens and faithful members of their church, ever ready to trans- 
mit the sacred legacy to their children, in the training of the rising 
generation — these things have been recorded in the annals of our coun- 
try, and the historian has written on their tombstones: "Their coming 
has been for the good." 

It is a sad fact that the descendants of those early Swedish colo- 
nists do not now belong to the church of their fathers. The reason 
for this is that the mother church in Sweden did not properly care for 
the young struggling daughter church in America. They could not 
get ministerial help from Sweden ; neither were they able to erect 
schools to educate their own ministers in the new country, and the con- 
sequence was, that they had to turn to the ministers of the other 
churches for their spiritual needs. In this way the early colonists were 
lost to the Lutheran Church. When Rev. N. Collin, in 1831, was 
gathered to his fathers, the last one in the line of ministers, whom the 
mother church had sent to these foreign shores to break the bread of 
life to her hungering children, these early Lutherans were gathered 
into the fold of the Episcopal Church. 

Twenty years after the death of this man, this country was des- 
tined to witness a great influx of immigrants from the Northland. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



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274 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Then the great stream of immigration began to flow, which should bring 
so many of the sturdy sons and daughters of old Sweden to this country, 
and particularly to this great Northwest and to the State of Minne- 
sota. In 1848 Minnesota became a territory, and nine years later a 
state, and in that same year, 1858, on the eighth day of October, the 
Swedish-Lutheran Minnesota Conference was organized at Chisago Lake, 
Minnesota. Swedish settlements had been established at Scandia, Chisago 
Lake, Vasa, Spring Garden, Red Wing, East Union, and other places, and 
at an early date these Swedish-Lutherans felt the need not only of church 
organizations, but of Christian schools. Education, secular as well as 
religious, has always characterized the Swedish people. Illiteracy finds 
no place among them. It was not strange, then, that these Swedish- 
Lutherans, who had been so accustomed to the beneficent influence of 
education in their mother country, when they came from the old coun- 
try, as well as from the eastern states, should at once look about for 
some way to improve their educational facilities. Parochial schools 
were taught here and there in a very rudimentary way, and it was very 
difficult to get competent teachers. The people felt the need of a 
higher institution of learning. But then the great question arose, 
"Where should an institution be located?" 

As early as 1860 the Augustana College had been established. 
Before that time the question had been agitated, where this institution 
should be located. Some had suggested Iowa, others Illinois, and the 
representatives of the Minnesota Conference naturally wished to have 
the school located in Minnesota. When finally it was decided to locate 
Augustana College at Paxton, Illinois, some thought that there ought 
to be a school in Minnesota, also, and in due season these settlements 
joined themselves together and began to lay the foundation to an insti- 
tution of higher learning. The mission fields were constantly increas- 
ing, new settlements were formed and new congregations organized. 
These needed ministers, but whence should they come? Ministers could 
not be expected from Sweden, at least not many enough to satisfy the 
great demand. School teachers must be gotten in some way. These 
questions could not be put aside ; they demanded an answer. The church 
needed a ministry, educated in the synod. 

It was at this time that Rev. E. Norelius took the first step toward 
supplying this want in his church at Red Wing. May 16, 1862, the first 
steps were taken. Twenty dollars were appropriate by this congrega- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 275 

tion, in order to fix up the church at Red Wing, so as to make it suit- 
able for school purposes. The object was to teach a parochial school 
in this building, and it was established "in order that older persons from 
other places might attend, receive instruction and prepare themselves 
for higher studies elsewhere." This was the first step taken by any 
church for the foundation of an educational institution within the Min- 
nesota Conference. These twenty dollars were the first money appropri- 
ated for educational purposes, and this first Swedish-Lutheran Church 
in Minnesota served as the first school building for higher learning. 
It was the beginning of the history of Gustavus Adolphus College. 

In the month of October, 1862, the Conference met at East Union. 
This was a very important meeting. Those were stirring times in the 
history of our country. The Civil war was raging and in August of 
the same year the Sioux Indian outbreak began. The members in the 
congregations had been decreased because of enlistment and drafting. 
The Indians on the frontiers of the mission field had raised havoc 
£.mong the small congregations. In Kandiyohi county Rev. A. Jack- 
son had been laboring for some time, but was compelled to flee because 
of the outbreak. The minister of the church at Scandian Grove had 
fled to Illinois. Some of the members of these churches had been 
killed; others had lost their homes and crops. It was a crucial period 
in the church, as well as in our land, and heroic efforts were necessary. 
But better times came. The Indians were driven back and where they 
had not destroyed the crop, a good harvest was gathered in and settle- 
ments became safe. The Swedes in the eastern states, Illinois, Indiana 
and other parts of the land, sent money and clothing to the rescue of 
their unfortunate countrymen in the Northwest. Since the Conference 
met the last time in February, 1862, some new congregations had been 
organized and others had been begun. The outlook for the future was 
more encouraging. It was under such circumstances that steps towards 
the establishment of a Conference School were taken up and discussed 
at the meeting of the Conference held the 8th of October, 1862. The 
Christian education of the young people was the burning question. 
There were lively discussions, and, in view of the action taken by the 
Church at Red Wing, May 16th, the Conference passed the following 
resolution: "Since the need of school teachers is so great, that we 
can endure it no longer, resolved that we ask Brother Norelius to under- 
take the instruction of such young men as our congregations can send 



276 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF AIINNESOTA 

him, in order that by such instruction they may be prepared to teach 
school in the Swedish and EngHsh languages." At the next meeting- 
in Scandian Grove, January, 1883, this resolution was changed to read: 
"In the Swedish, Norwegian, and English languages." 

The decision of the Conference was carried out at once, and when 
Rev. Norelius returned from the meeting in East Union, he opened the 
school in the Swedish-Lutheran Church at Red Wing. The four years 
old Conference had decided to build an institution for higher learning. 
The institution had been launched with one teacher and one pupil. This 
pupil was ]\Ir. J. Alagny, now Rev. Dr. J. Magny, of Carlton, Minnesota. 
Sometime before Christmas five new students came from East Union. 
. They enrolled but did not do any work during the fall term. These five 
were: John Olson, John Engquist, Anna Palson (Mrs. J. J. Frodeen),. 
Mary Wilson (Mrs. John Carlson), and Maria Christina (Olson) Ran- 
dahl. In January Jonas G. Lagerstrom enrolled, and in February, John 
S. Nelson, and in the beginning of the spring term Louisa Peterson 
(Mrs. A. Jackson), Mary Miller, Gustaf Miller, Philip Belin, Mary 
Johnson, Mr. Backlund, Mr. Russel and others were added to the roll. 
There were about ten students from places outside of Red Wing, and 
in all thirty-three students enrolled during the first school year. Out 
of these students, of whom eleven had been enrolled at the meeting of 
the Conference in January, 1863, three became ministers. These were 
Rev. J. Alagny, Rev. J. S. Nelson, and Rev. J. G. Lagerstrom. The 
equipments in the school at Red Wing were very primitive. The little 
church was built out of boards placed in an upright position, the seats 
were very plain, and Rev. Norelius had a movable blackboard made. 
The subjects were English and Swedish grammar and spelling, arith- 
metic and geography, singing and penmanship. A beginning was made^ 
and, considering the circumstances, it was a very good beginning. 

During 1863-76 — the East Union period in the development of the 
school-work — there arose an agitation as to where the school should be 
permanently located. At the meeting in Scandian Grove, in 1863, the 
question of location came up for consideration, but nothing definite was 
done except "that the brethren requested to consult with the members 
of the various congregations, so as to be able, at the next meeting, to 
take some definite action in the matter." 

There were several places that seemed anxious to secure the school. 
At the next Conference meeting at Christiania, Dakota county, Minne- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 277 

sota, in June, 1863, it was found that three places were bidding for the 
school, namely, East Union, St. Paul and Vasa. At this Conference 
meeting it was decided to ascertain by a vote in the congregations as to 
where the school should be located. The place receiving the plurality 
of votes should get the school, and it was further stipulated, that the 
place winning in the contest should raise a bonus of $300. During this 
meeting a committee, consisting of Revs. P. Carlson, J. C. Boren and 
Mr. H. Olson, was appointed to call a permanent teacher for the school, 
with instructions to extend a call to Rev. A. Jackson. Being left with- 
out a charge for some time, because of the Indian outbreak. Rev. Jack- 
son felt it to be his duty to accept the call, and he did so. 

When the Conference met at Chisago Lake in October, the voting 
in reference to the place for the school turned out as follows: East 
Union, 409 votes; St. Paul, 278; and Vasa, 242. After considerable 
discussion it was finally decided that the school should be located at 
East Union. The Conference gave the Board of Directors the right to 
go to East Union and buy forty acres of woodland, or five acres of 
cleared land, in a suitable place, and, until the corporation could secure 
this property in its name, the treasurer of the Conference should hold 
it. When the Conference met at Spring Garden in February, 1864, the 
Board reported, "That it was not advisable to purchase forty acres of 
woodland, but recommended the purchase of five acres of cleared land 
east of the Swedish-Lutheran Church in East Union." This recommen- 
dation was adopted. The purchase was to be made in the name of Rev. 
P. Carlson, but the lot was afterward presented to the Conference by 
a number of Swedish soldiers of Company H, Ninth Regiment, Minne- 
sota Volunteer Infantry, from Carver county. 

In the fall of 1863 the school was opened in the Swedish-Lutheran 
Church at East Union, until a permanent place could be prepared. The 
old church was bought for the sum of three hundred dollars, and moved 
to the land recently donated by the soldiers, by O. Wahlstrom, in 1867. 
This church was then fitted up for school purposes, with two recitation 
rooms, and a library room on the first floor. The second story was 
used by the students for lodging. The principal, who had been called, 
now took charge of the work. His salary had been determined at 
two hundred dollars for the six months, but it was raised somewhat at 
a subsequent meeting of the Conference. The courses of study had 
been arranged by the committee appointed by the Conference for that 



278 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

purpose, and who had been instructed to consult the faculty of Augus- 
tana College in reference to this matter. The members of this committee 
were Revs. E. Norelius and John Pehrson. The school year was divided 
into two terms, fall and spring. The fall term began the Uth of Septem- 
ber and continued until December 15th, and the spring term from January 
5th to May 31st. A constitution was drawn up and a Board of eight 
members elected. The name of the school was "Minnesotas Elementar 
Skola" (The Minnesota Elementary School). The tuition was fixed 
at five dollars per term, and there was no other income except free-will 
offerings from the different congregations in the Conference. It may 
be said that the financial condition of the school was not very encourag- 
ing. Still there was money enough to maintain the school. Rev. John 
Pehrson was elected treasurer in January 1863, but there is no record 
that he ever made any report. It may be that he never received any 
money to report. At the Conference meeting held in Spring Garden, 
the first financial report was presented by the chairman of the educa- 
tional committee, Rev. C. A. Hedengran. This committee was appointed 
in 1863, and consisted of two members, besides Rev. Hedengran, namely, 
N. Olson and Carl Carlson. This report showed an entire income of 
$48.50, and a balance of $31.25 on hand in the treasury. There was 
therefore quite a bit of money in the treasury, comparatively speaking. 
Improvements were made from time to time. The old church, fit- 
ted into a school building, still stands and is being used for parochial 
school purposes and the meetings of the young peoples' societies of the 
congregation at Carver. In 1865 a building was put up for the princi- 
pal, Rev. Jackson, who was at the head of the school from 1863 to 1873, 
and again from 1875 to 1876. During the two intervening years Rev. 
J. Frodeen, then a student, had charge of the school. The first report 
was very encouraging. Fifty-eight students had been enrolled, the 
highest attendance was fifty, and thirty-six were present at the end of 
the school year. The committee on courses had fixed the following: 
Christianity, Geography, History, English, Swedish, Singing, Arithme- 
tic, Penmanship, Latin, Greek, German and the Natural Sciences. Dur- 
ing the first year instruction was imparted in all these, with the excep- 
tion of Latin, Greek, German and the Natural Sciences. After about 
a year the principal was authorized to use two of the older students as 
assistants, and J. P. Lundquist and L. Anderson were chosen. They 
were allowed three dollars and five dollars, respectively, for their services. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 279 

In 1865 the school was incorporated under the laws of the state, 
and it being the one thousandth anniversary of the death of "The 
Apostle of the North," St. Ansgar, it was thought fit to honor his memory 
by calling the school -St. Ansgar's Academy. At the Conference meet- 
ing at Stockholm, Wisconsin, in June, the principal reported that a 
student of the previous year, Anders Engholm by name, from Water- 
town Minnesota, who had been drafted into the army and had died m a 
hospital in Iowa, had before his death written home and made dispo- 
sition of his property. He had bequeathed his books to the St. Ansgar s 
Academy. This was the beginning of the Gustavus Adolphus College 
Library The Conference passed the following resolution in reference to 
this- "In this gift the Conference recognizes God's will and with it will 
be-in a school librarv." Rev. A. Jackson was chosen as librarian. In Sep- 
tember at the first Conference meeting held at St. Peter, the Conference 
bought the books of Rev. Rosen, who had died recently, and for the 
same the sum of one hundred and forty dollars was paid. It was at 
this meeting that the name St. Ansgar's Academy was agreed upon for 
> incorporation. At the Conference meeting held at Red Wing, m 1866, 
Rev Jackson reported that the students, who had attended during the 
past year, had not all been Swedes, and recommended that a Norwegian 
teachei^ should be called, inasmuch as he himself was not able to instruct 
in that subject. O. Paulson was recommended and elected. He had just 
finished the theological course at Paxton, Illinois, and had received a 
call to a church in Minneapolis, but as the church did not need him the 
entire time, he accepted this call. His salary was fixed at two hundred 
and fifty dollars per year. A home was to be built at East Union for 
the Norwegian professor, but at the end of the year he resigned and 
no home was built. The attendance was comparatively small, and the 
principal suggested that a boarding department be established. Funds 
were to be collected for this purpose, but, somehow, this department 
was never established; but another story, to be used as a dormitory, was 

added to the building. 

When the Conference met at Spring Garden, in 1869, Rev. Jackson 
petitioned to be relieved of half of the work at the school, so as to be 
able to tend to the church at West Union, to which he had been called 
as pastor. This was granted and the salary reduced to two hundred 
dollars per year; the subjects which he was to teach were Swedish and 



28o SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Christianity. At this time the treasurer was authorized to make a loan, 
so as to be able to pay the salaries of the teachers, and he was limited 
in this loan to two hundred dollars. To reduce the debt, a collection 
was to be taken, but at the next meeting, which was held in Minneapolis, 
the debt was found to be reduced by one hundred dollars. The whole 
debt amounted to four hundred dollars, which was settled by a sub- 
scription. 

The school at this time seemingly became a secondary matter, owing" 
to the fact that the congregations and the missions took up so much 
time. Rev. Jackson could not tend to the school entirely, because of the 
work in his church, and it was left to some of the older students. Among 
them was Mr. J. J. Frodeen. He gradually advanced ; was called to 
the principalship July 31, 1873, and began the work in the fall of the 
same year. At the Conference meeting held at Oscar Lake, Douglas 
county, Rev. Jackson petitioned to be released from the school entirely, 
so that he might devote his entire time to the work in his church. This 
was granted, on the condition that he remain as principal, visit the school 
two forenoons each week and teach Christianity. His salary was then 
fixed at one hundred and fifty dollars. The principal complained often 
of the seeming lack of interest in the schoolwork, but the hands of the 
Conference were overful with the work of trying to gather in the thou- 
sands and thousands of Swedes who were coming to this great North- 
west. 

In 1872 some important changes were efifected in the school ques- 
tion, at the meeting of the Conference in Red Wing. A committee was 
appointed consisting of Dr. E. Norelius, Revs. J. O. Cavahin, J. G. 
Lagerstrom, H. Olson and Dr. J. Magny. This committee was to gather 
endowment funds for the support of the teachers at the school. It 
reviewed the school question at length, and it became evident that 
higher instruction than that offered at St. Ansgar's Academy was neces- 
sary. It also became clear that the school was not located in the proper 
place. Again the question of moving the institution arose. A more 
centrally located place was sought, and an opening presented itself at 
Minneapolis. The plan was to make the institution a preparatory school 
for the State University, and to give a full course in Swedish and The- 
ology. The collegiate and post-graduate work was to be left to the 
University. Many in the Conference and the authorities of the Uni- 
versity favored this plan. The Conference finally passed a resolution 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 281 

to move the school to Alinneapolis and there re-incorporate it, provided 
a donation of ten thousand dollars could be raised. A committee con- 
sisting of Rev. C. A. Evald, ]\Iessrs. August Johnson and C. G. Van- 
strum, was appointed to receive donations and to arrange the school 
matters in Minneapolis. At the next meeting, in 1873, the committee 
reported that J. S. Pillsbury and S. A. and R. Chute had ofifered a 
block of land near the University, worth four thousand, for two thou- 
sand dollars. The committee was, furthermore, very hopeful that the 
required sum of money could be raised, and the Conference resolved to 
accept this ofifer and to establish a school there under the name "Gus- 
tavus Adolphus Literary and Theological Institute." A Board of Di- 
rectors was appointed and instructed to meet in Minneapolis the follow- 
ing week and to secure the property. Another committee was appointed 
to secure funds, act as a building committee, secure plans and specifica- 
tions and to report to the next Conference meeting. Prof. J. J. Fro- 
deen served in the capacity of principal and teacher for two years, from 
1873 to 1875, and he served faithfully and efficiently. The anticipation 
of moving the school to Minneapolis did not mature; there were some 
difficulties attending the incorporation, hard times set in, and some in 
the Conference doubted the wisdom of uniting the institution with the 
University in such a way. 

The next Conference meeting was held in October, 1873, and the 
first efiforts were there put forth to move the school to St. Peter. A 
committee of St. Peter citizens appeared before the Conference, desir- 
ing to ascertain the conditions for moving the school to St. Peter. The 
members of this committee were E. J. Cox, spokesman ; A. J. Lamber- 
ton, Albert Knight, W. Schimmel and A. Thorson. A committee was 
appointed to receive proposals and have under consideration the applicants 
for location. The requisites for moving were : A building site and a 
bonus of ten thousand dollars toward the building. Rev. P. A. Ceder- 
stam, who had been appointed solicitor for the Conference, had declined, 
and Rev. J. G. Lagerstrom was called in his place and accepted. At the 
meeting in Minneapolis, February 3, 1874, the propositions of St. Peter 
were accepted, and they were as follows : 

1. That the offer of $10,000 from St. Peter be accepted, and that 
the school be located there on the condition that the Conference be able 
to obtain a campus, which shall be suitable and sufficiently large. 



282 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

2. That the Conference will apply the $10,000 for a suitable build- 
ing, but will not obligate itself to build beyond the receipts. 

3. That a committee of five be appointed to take into consideration 
the different building places in St. Peter and select the most suitable 
one. The committee consisted of E. Norelius, A. Jackson, J. J. Fro- 
deen, A. Thorson, and J. A. Carlson. 

4. That the same committee prepare articles of incorporation for 
the school at St. Peter, and report the same at the next Conference meet- 
ing, and as soon as incorporation is completed, the deed for the place be 
secured. 

5. That the erection of a building be not begun before the spring 
of 1875. 

The articles of incorporation were made June 1, 1874, and the 
school was incorporated under the title of "The Swedish-Lutheran Board 
of Education." The first officers were Rev. J. G. Lagerstrom, St, Peter, 
president; Jonas Ausland, St. Paul, vice-president; Andrew Thorson, 
Norseland, treasurer. The articles stated that the object was to establish 
an institution of learning at St. Peter in the arts and sciences. The fol- 
lowing persons signed the articles of incorporation : E. Norelius, Jonas 
Ausland, P. Sjoblom, A. Jackson, L. A. Hocanzon, P. Carlson, P. A. 
Cedarstam, C. AI. Ryden, J. G. Lagerstrom, A. Wahlin, John E. Nelson, 
C. A. Evald, A. Engdahl, F. Peterson, C. L. Backstrom, John Peterson, 
J. Fremling, S. O. Lind, P. Beckman, J. Magny, J. O. Cavallin, O. F. 
Tomell, and E. N. Jorlander. Thus the school at East Union was to 
be moved the second time, and this brings us in our history to the third 
period of our institution. 

The socalled St. Peter Period of the collegiate history is subdivided 
into three parts, the first of which (the Nyquist presidency, 1876-1881) 
will now be considered. The citizens of St. Peter had secured a twenty- 
five acre lot on the bluff west of the city and presented it to the Confer- 
ence, or the Swedish-Lutheran Board of Education, with a bonus of 
ten thousand dollars, which sum was to be used for building purposes. 
During the winter of 1874-75 some persons interested in the school, 
hauled stones and other building materials. Specifications were being 
prepared and submitted to the contractors for bids. The contract was 
given to Mr. O. N. Ostrom, and a security of six thousand dollars was 
required. The building was ready for dedication October 31, 1876. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF AIINNESOTA 283 

This was an important event in the history of the Swedish-Lutherans 
in the Northwest and marks a step in the advancement of the higher 
education among the Swedes of these states. 

It might be of interest to give in brief the program of that important 
day. A choir of mixed voices from Goodhue county rendered some 
songs. A certain Mr. Lindholm was the leader. Rev. A. Jackson 
offered prayer. Dr. E, NoreHus, the president of the Board, delivered 
the dedicatory address. The next speaker was Rev. E. Livermore, the 
rector of the Church of the Holy Communion, who was followed by 
Rev. A. H. Kerr, the pastor of the Presbyterian Church, and Rev. P. 
Sjoblom. Rev. J. Ausland closed the exercises with prayer. Dinner 
was then served in the basement of the school. Free contributions were 
given at dinner, which amounted to $100. Rev. J. G. Lagerstrom was 
then pastor of the Swedish-Lutheran Church at St. Peter, and to him 
was due, in a great measure, the success of the exercises of the day. 
The new building cost $25,000. The subscriptions received at that time 
amounted to $18,000, but about $2,000 could not be collected. This was 
due to the hard times, caused by the depredations of the grasshoppers. 

The school year 1876-77 began about the time of the dedication of 
the new building. The following were the conditions for admission in 
the school: (1) A written application by the student; (2) an autobio- 
graphy by the applicant; (3) a statement of what the applicant had 
already acquired ; and (4) a letter of recommendation from some re- 
sponsible person. 

The tuition was fixed at fifty cents per month, and later at ten dol- 
lars per term. Those who did not stay the whole term received some 
reduction. The Board established a boarding department, and the board 
cost two dollars per week. Many students came to school because of 
the low rates. It was cheaper to go to school than to stay at a boarding 
house. The first year shows an enrollment of fifty-one, and of these 
four were young ladies. The plan to make the institution could not be 
carried through for many years, because many of the leading men in 
the Conference did not wish to go to any beyond an Academy or Prepara- 
tory school. 

The list of professors who served during President J. P. Nyquist's 
time, is as follows: Rev. Prof. J. P. Nyquist, 1876-81; Prof. A. W. 
Williamson, A. I\L, 1877-80; Prof. Joshua Hasselquist, A. B., 1877-78; 
Prof. J. S. Ryding, 1878-79; Student A. Backlund, 1879-80; Prof. J. S. 



284 SWEDISH-AMERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

Koiner, 1880-82 ; Rev. Prof. ^I. Wahlstrom. A. B.. 1880-81 ; Prof. S. M. 
Hill, A. B., 1880-81. 

The attendance during the Nyquist period was as follows during the 
five years of his presidency: 1876-77, 69; 1877-78, 68; 1878-79, 65; 
1879-80. 100; 1880-81, 114. Durrhg these years 416 students attended. 
Thus we find a marked increase in attendance during this period. The 
school had struck roots during these years in the new place, there was 
a favorable outlook for the future, and a new transition period now came. 

The next period for consideration is the Wahlstrom Presidency, 
1881-1904. Rev. Dr. M. Wahlstrom had been chosen to teach the Swedish 
language and literature in 1880. When Rev. Nyquist left in 1881 to 
accept a call to a church in Nebraska, Rev. Dr. Wahlstrom was chosen 
as president. During his presidency the school developed internally and 
externally in a marked degree. Three buildings were erected. In 1884 
two brick-veneered two-story buildings were built, the one to the north 
of the main building and generally designated as North Hall, the other 
to the south, designated as South Hall. The ground stories of these 
buildings were used by the professors' families, and the second story 
as ladies' dormitories. The same year the president's residence was 
erected south of the South Hall. In the year 1887 a brick-veneered 
building was put up between the main building and the South Hall, to 
be used as a boarding hall. The first story was used for this purpose 
and the second for the musical department. Later on, owing to the fact 
that the school grew and more room was necessary, this building was 
fitted up for the commercial department, and is now being used exclu- 
sively for this purpose. In 1890 a gymnasium, seventy by fifty feet, was 
erected. Public spirited men and the faculty and students, assisted in 
getting the funds for this building. Attached to this gymnasium, as 
it now stands, is a music hall, containing six rooms. This was built in 
1891, and the required money was raised by the faculty. These were 
the buildings put up during Dr. Wahlstrom's presidency. 

There was also a marked increase in the number of students, during 
almost the quarter of a century that he was at the head of this institution. 
The following shows the enrollment for each year during this important 
period: 1881-82, 123; 1882-83, 172; 1883-84, 182; 1884-85, 151 
1885-86, 166; 1886-87, 200; 1887-88, 245; 1888-89, 272; 1889-90, 274 
1890-91, 289; 1891-92, 298; 1892-93, 270; 1893-94, 275; 1894-95, 266 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 285 

1895-96. 238; 1896-97, 227; 1897-98, 256; 1898-99, 314; 1899-1900, 218; 
1900-01, 354; 1901-02, 339; 1902-03, 357; and 1903-04, 327. 

The members of the faculty during- the Wahlstrom period were as 
follows: Rev. Prof. M. Wahlstrom, Ph. D., 1881-1904; Rev. Prof. J. A. 
Bauman, A. M., 1881-1885; Mrs. J. A. Bauman, B. E., 1881-1883; Prof. 
S. M. Hill, A. B., 1881-1882; Prof. C. L. E. Esbjorn, A. B., 1881-1882; 
Rev. Prof. J. P. Uhler, A. M., 1882- . . . . ; Mr. P. T. Lindholm, B. E., 
1882-1883 ; Mr. P. J. Johnson, 1882-1883 ; Rev. Prof. W. K. Frick, A. M., 
1883-1889; Prof. G. A. Anderson, A. B., 1883-1884; Prof. K. Westerberg, 
1883-1884; Mr. J. W. Lundholm, 1883-1886; Rev. Prof. C. J. Petri, 
1884-1888; Miss Edna Kneeland, 1884-1886; Mr. J. Porter, 1884-1885; 
Prof. R. Lagerstrom, 1884-1907; Prof. O. A. Allen, 1884-1898; Rev. 
Prof. E. J. Werner, D. D., 1885-1894; Mr. F. Magny, 1884-1885; Mr. 
C. A. Ramstedt, 1884-1885; Rev. Prof. John A. Sander, L. H. D., 
1885-1903; Prof. Thomas C. Jones, B. M., 1886-1887; Mr. Joseph E. 
O'sborn, 1886-1887; Mrs. Viola A. Jones, B. M., 1886-1887; Miss Emma 
Green, 1886-1887; Mr. E. A. Palenius, 1886-1887; Prof. J. S. Carlson, 
Ph. D., 1887-1898; Prof. Tore Norman, 1887-1888; Mr. J. W. Swanbeck, 
1887-1890; Mr. A. C. Carlson, 1887-1888, 1894-1899; Mr. G. A. Petri, 
1887-1888; Mr. Peter Peterson, 1887-1888; Mr. Carl E. Seashore, 
1887-1888; Miss Grace McMillan, 1887-1889; Mr. F. J. Downie, 1887- 
1888; Rev. Prof. M. E. Carlson, 1888-1890; Mr. P. Magnie Magnusson, 
Ph. D., 1888-1889; Mr. Solomon Eckman, A. B., 1888-1889; Mr. Joseph 
A. Jackson, A. B., 1888-1889; Mr. Adolph Youngquist, A. B., A. M., 
1888-1889; Mr. Peter A. Mattson, A. B., 1888-1889; Mr. WiUiam M. 
Tilderquist, A. B., 1888-1889; Mr. John E. Hallstrom, A. B., 1888-1891; 
Rev. Prof. H. K. Shanor, A. M., 1889-1893 ; Prof. Joshua A. Edquist, 
A. B., A. M., 1889- . . . . ; Prof. Nels E. Kron, A. B., A. M., 1889-1891 ; 
Miss Esther T. Jackson, 1890-1894; Miss Helen Peterson, B. M., 1890- 
1891 ; Mr. John Bushers, 1890-1891 ; Prof. K. A. Kilander, A. M., Ph. D., 
1892-....; Mr. Andrew Tofft, A. B., 1892-1893; Mr. Fred Hughes, 
1892-1893; Prof. J. D. Spaeth, Ph. D.. 1893-1894; Mr. J. M. Peterson, 
1893-1894; Mr. Albert Lagerstrom, 1893-1895; Prof. Augustus Nelson, 
A. B., Cand. Ph. D., 1894-1895; Prof. Inez Rundstrom, B. S., Ph. D., 

1894- ; Prof. A. Kempe, A. B., 1894-1898; Miss Anna M. Pehrson, 

1894-1896; Miss Georgia Lester, 1894-1895; Prof. Isaac M. Anderson, 

A. B., B. S., 1895-1904; Mr. Aaron E. Pehrson, 1895-1906; Miss Anna 

B. E. Olson, 1895-1896; Miss Ella J. Peterson, 1897-1898; Prof. Albin 



286 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

O. Peterson, 1897-1898; Prof. Gabriel H. Towley, M. A, 1898- . . . . ; Miss 
Medora C. Anderson, 1898-1903; Prof. A. A. Stomberg, A. M., 1899- 
1907; Prof. A. C. Pearson, A. ^L, Ph. D., 1899-1907; Prof. A. Elmer 
Turner, 1899-1900; Mr. Daniel T. Sandell, 1899-1900; Mr. George C 
Berglund, 1899-1900; Prof. A. C. Holmquist, B. Accts., 1900-1901; Mr 
Bjorn Christianson, 1902-1903; Miss Edith A. Quist, 1902-1903; Mr 
Fridolph Lindholm, 1902-1904; Prof. Gustaf A. Lundquist, 1902-1905 
Prof. Peter C. Langemo, 1902-1904; ]\Iiss Hannah K. Sandell, 1902-1903 
Prof. S. K. Hall, 1903-1905; Miss Josephine Menth, 1903-1906; Mr 
Bernhard A. Bonstrom, A. B., 1903-1904; Mr. Victor E. Holmstedt^ 
1903-1904; Miss Alma A. Allen, 1903-1904; Prof. Edwin J. Vickner 
Ph. D., 1903-....; Miss Etta L. Aldrich, 1903-1906; Prof. Emil O 

Chelgren, A. B., 1903-1907; Miss Charlotte E. Anderson, 1903- 

Prof. George R. Peterson, 1903-1905 ; Mr. Carl E. Sjostrand, 1903-1905 
Miss A. Marie Christofferson, 1903-1907; and Mr. Victor N. Valgren, 
1903-1904. 

The college had developed from a primary school at Red Wing, in 
1863, to an institution with the following five departments: 

( 1 ) A College Department offering four courses : A classical, a 
course in modern languages, an historical and a natural scientific course. 
The first college class was begun in 1882, and the first senior class was 
organized in 1889 and graduated in 1890. There were eight members 
in the first graduating class. 

(2) The Academic Department, which is as old as the institution 
and has three courses : A classical, an historical and a scientific. 

(3) A Normal Department, whose courses in general correspond 
to those of the Academy and the Freshman Class. 

(4) A Commercial Department, organized in 1887, which offers 
four courses: A commercial course, a post-graduate course, a course 
in stenography and typewriting, and a short business course. 

(5) A Musical Department, with four courses: Piano, pipe-organ, 
violin and voice culture, and post-graduate. 

In 1903 Dr. Wahlstrom resigned, and his resignation took effect the 
following year. He accepted a call to Augustana Hospital at Chicago, 
Illinois. His presidency had lasted twenty-three years, and during this 
time there was a marked advance along all lines. To give a resume of 
the work done, let us say : There was only one building when he came, 
but six when he left; the school had developed from one department to 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 287 

five ; the library had only about two hundred volumes when he came, 
and when he left there were about 10,000 volumes ; there was no laboratory 
when he first assumed the presidency, and when he retired there were 
two laboratories with fair apparatus ; when he took up the work, there 
were only four teachers, and now the faculty numbered twenty-three ; the 
expenses were $4,800 when he came, and $28,000 when he left; a reed 
organ was all that the school possessed in the way of instruments at the 
beginning, but now there were two pipe-organs, eighteen pianos, eight 
reed organs and a number of band instruments. When Dr. Wahlstrom 
retired there were 159 graduates from the College department, 542 from 
the Academy, 308 from the School of Commerce, 53 from the School of 
Music. There were then 56 of the college graduates who were pastors. 
The college had developed, so that its courses were then equal to those of 
the State University. 

The present incumbent (Dr. P. A. Mattson), an alumnus of the 
college, was called to the presidency in 1904 at the conference meeting 
held in St. Peter, May 21, 1904. In the fall of 1904 a brick building 
costing $30,000 was erected, and was ready for use in the beginning of 
the spring term 1905. The two upper stories are used as auditorium and 
music rooms, and the two lower are used for recitation rooms, presi- 
dent's office, etc. It is modern in every respect. During the summer 
of 1909 a ladies' dormitory was erected, the money for the building 
being secured by the late Governor J. A. Johnson from Andrew Carnegie. 
The sum secured was $32,500, and, in addition to this, about $10,000 
was gathered within the Swedish Lutheran Minnesota Conference. 
During these years an Endowment and Building Fund to the amount 
of $54,880.73 has been gathered. 

The following persons have served during these five years on the 
faculty : Rev. P. A. Mattson, Ph. D., D. D., 1904- ; Rev. J. P. Uhler, 

A. M., Ph. D.. 1882-....; Prof. R. Lagerstrom, D. Mus., 1889-1905; 

Prof. Josua A. Edquist, A. M., 1889- ; Prof. K. A. Kilander, A. M., 

Ph. D., 1893- . . . . ; Prof. J. A. Youngquist, A. M., 1894- . . . . ; Miss Inez 
Rundstrom, Ph. D., 1894- . . . . ; Prof. A. J. Pearson, A. M., Ph. D., 1899- 
1907; Prof. A. A. Stomberg, M. S., 1899-1907; Prof. G. H. Towley, 

M. Accts., 1899- ; Prof. G. A. Lundquist. A. B., 1903-1904; Prof. 

E. J. Vickner, A. M., Ph. D., 1903-.... ; Prof. E. C. Carlton, A. M.. 
1904- . . . . ; Miss Edith A. Quist, B. Mus., 1902- . . . . ; Prof. S. K. Hall. 

B. Mus., 1903-1905; Miss Josephine Menth, 1903-1906; Prof. Emil O. 



288 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Chelgren, B. A., 1903-1907; Miss Etta L. Aldrich, 1903-1907; Miss 
Charlotte Anderson, 1903- . . . . ; Miss A. ^larie Christofferson, 1903-1907; 
Prof. E. B. Berquist, A. B.. 1904-1905; Prof. G. A. Peterson, A, M., 
1904-1907; Prof. G. Theodore Almen, A. B., 1904-1906; Mr. Aaron E. 
Pearson, 1904-1906; Prof. J. F. Wojta, B. S., M. S. A., 1904-1907; Mr. 
Olof J. Towley, B. C, 1904-1905 ; Mr. Victor N. Valgren, A. B., 1903- 
1905 ; Mr. Oscar E. Abrahamson. A. M., 1904-1905 ; Mr. Edwin Swenson, 

A. B., 1904-1905; Mr. E. P. Gibson, 1904-1906; Miss Joicy Ammons, 

B. C. 1904-1905; Prof. Magnus Magnusson, A. B., 1905-1909; Prof. 
J. V. Berquist, B. M., 1905-1908; Prof. A. T. Lagerstrom, A. B., 1905- 
1906; Prof. C. J. Knock, A. B., 1905-1909; Mr. A. I. Bystrom, A. B., 
1905-1906; Mr. P. J. Youngdahl, A. B., 1905-1906; Mr. A. C. Schroeder, 
M. C, 1905-1906; Prof. A. C. Krebs, 1905-1906; Aliss Hulda S. Magnus- 
son, A. B., 1905- . . . . ; Prof. C. Harry Hedberg, A. B., 1905- . . . . ; Miss 
Ruby A. Phelps, 1905-1908 ; Miss Josephine Powell, 1905-1906 ; Mr. F. 
P. Bailey, 1906-1907; Mr. M. R. Davis, 1906-1907; Miss Lillian Rosbach 
A. B., 1906-1907; Mr. Daniel Nystrom, A. B., 1906-1907; Prof. Carl 
Ostrum, A. B., 1907-1908 ; Rev. Luther Malmberg, A. B., 1907-1908 
Prof. Conrad Peterson, A. M., Ph. D., 1907- . . . . ; Prof. C. F. Malmberg 
A. M., 1907-1909; Miss Nannie F. Freeman, 1907-1908; Mr. Alvin R 
Glasmann, B. C, 1907-1909; Miss Lois O. Treadwell, A. B., 1907-1908 
Miss Hanna Klemmenhagen, 1907-1909; Mr. C. J. Olson, A. B., 1907- 
1908; Miss Helen Roberts, A. B., 1907-1908; Miss Josephine Swenson, 

1907- ; Prof. Algert Anker, 1907- ; Miss Ester Soderman, 1907- 

1908; Prof. P. Olsson, 1908-1909; Miss Clara M. Sander, A. B., 1908- 
1909; Miss Hattie M. Griffith, 1908-1909; Miss Jessie M. Foster, 1908- 
1909; Miss Eva T. Eaton, 1908-1909; Miss Anna C. Johnson, 1908-1909; 
Mr. Peter Nehleen, 1908-1909 ; and Mr. N. C. Nelson, 1908-1909. 

The number of students that have attended the college during these 
five years are as follows: 1904-5, 343; 1906-6, 367; 1906-7, 370; 1907-8, 
393 ; and 1908-9, 375. 

The summary of graduates during these five years is as follows: 
College, 57; Academy, 119; School of Commerce, 117; and School of 
Music, 27 ; total, 320. Up to the present time in the history of the school, 
203 have graduated from the College department, 560 from the Academy, 
465 from the School of Commerce, and 77 from the School of Music. 
The total number of graduates is 1306. The total number of students 
enrolled in the institution from the beginning is 8,835. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 289 

The college graduates are classified as follows: Pastors. 74; 
lawyers, 11; college presidents, 1; physicians, 12; dentists, 3; professors, 
11; teachers, 10; superintendents of schools, 10; principals, 19; mission- 
aries, 1; journaHsts, 6; government clerks, 2; department managers, 1; 
county auditors, 1 ; registers of deeds, 2 ; merchants, 1 ; lecturers, 1 ; 
electrical engineers, 1 ; nurses, 2 ; salesmen, 1 ; bankers, 1 ; farmers, 1 ; 
librarians, 1 ; bookkeepers, 1 ; bank cashiers, 1 ; horticulturists, 1 ; and 
post-graduate students, 9. 

Minnesota College, by Prof. Frank Nelson. — The Minnesota 
Conference of the Swedish Lutheran Augustana Synod decided at its 
meeting at St. Peter, Minnesota, in May, 1904, to establish an institution 
of learning in the Twin Cities. A committee of nine was appointed by 
the Conference to make the necessary preparations for the realization 
of such an institution and to serve as a board of directors for the first 
year. This committee consisted of Rev. E. O. Stone, Rev. C. J. Petri, 
D. D., Minneapolis; Rev. L. A. Johnston, D. D., St. Paul; Rev. F. M. 
Eckman, Center City ; Rev. A. P. Monten, Hopkins ; J. S. Carlson, Ph. D., 
Minneapolis; J. M. Carlson, St. Paul; Victor E. Lawson, Willmar, and 
Erland Lind, Minneapolis. 

The committee met on the 28th day of May, 1904, and the following 
officers were elected : President, Rev. E. O. Stone ; Vice President, Rev. 
C. J. Petri; Secretary, Mr. Victor E. Lawson; Treasurer, Dr. J. S. 
Carlson. After a thorough discussion it was decided to establish the 
proposed institution of learning in Minneapolis. The first session of 
Minnesota College was held October 4, 1904, in a building on the corner 
of Franklin and Seventeenth avenues, South. Instruction was oflfered 
in the Academic, Commercial and Music Departments. Rev. E. O. Stone 
served as acting president during the first year. Twenty-three students 
were enrolled during the first day, and the total enrollment for the first 
year was 166. 

It was soon found that the building on Franklin avenue was inade- 
quate for the needs of the institution. Accordingly the Board began 
to look for more suitable quarters. After considering several locations 
and propositions, the Board purchased the beautiful brown stone building 
and a half block of land oni the corner of Harvard and Delaware streets, 
Southeast. The second school year opened in the new building on Sep- 
tember 4, 1905, with Dr. P. M. Magnusson as acting president. The 

19 



290 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 





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FRANK NELSON. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 293 

enrollment for the year was 196. Dr. Joshua Larson served as acting 
president during the third year. The enrollment was 220. At the annual 
meeting of the Minnesota Conference in February, 1907, Frank Nelson 
was elected permanent president of the institution. He assumed his 
duties July 12th, of the same year. The enrollment during the fourth 
year was 362. In the fall of 1908, the Conference authorized the Board 
of Directors to purchase additional land in order to provide for the 
growth and development of the institution. The Board secured almost 
an entire block of land between Harvard and Union streets, Southeast, 
for $20,000. The college now owns two buildings, with modern equip- 
ments. The entire college property is conservatively valued at $85,000. 
The faculty consists of eighteen members. The enrollment last year 
was 488. 

The following have served as solicitors for the college : Rev. A. P. 
Monten, Rev. G. Wahlund, Prof. T. E. Verner and Rev. P. O. Hanson 
(present solicitor). 

The following are the members of the Board of Directors: Rev. 
F. M. Eckman, Rev. Peter Peterson, Mr. E. G. Dahl, Rev. E. O. Stone, 
Rev. Swan Johnson, Mr. C. J. Johnson, Rev. E. G. Chinlund, Mr. J. M. 
Carlson and Mr. John Ogren. The officers of the Board of Directors 
are : President, Rev. E. O. Stone ; Vice President, Rev. E. G. Chinlund ; 
Secretary, Rev. Peter Peterson ; and Treasurer, Mr. C. J. Johnson. In- 
struction is offered in the following departments : Preparatory, Academic, 
Normal, Commercial, Swedish-English, Art and Music. 

Prof. Frank Nelson was born December 14, 1865, in Andover, Illi- 
nois, and with his parents moved to Swedesburg, Iowa, a few years 
later. His father died September 28, 1874. Professor Nelson was 
reared on a farm, attending the public schools and Howe's Academy, at 
Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and was graduated from the Southern Iowa Normal, 
Bloomfield, Iowa, and from the State University of Iowa. For five 
years he was a member of the faculty of Bethany College, and served 
as State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Kansas for two terms. 
He has taken an active part in state and national campaigns for the 
past fifteen years, having extensive experience on the lecture platform, 
and he was urged as candidate for Congress and United States Senator 
in Kansas. Professor Nelson is a member of a number of educational 



294 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

and scientific organizations throughout the country. In July, 1907, he 
became president of Minnesota College. 

At Swedesburg, Iowa, August 7, 1895, he was married to ]\Iiss 
Emelia Morgan, and has two children, Ruth, aged ten, and Rubv, five 
years old. Professor Nelson is a member of the Swedish Lutheran 
church. 

Northwestern College, by Professor A. C. Youngdahl. — The 
formal opening of Northwestern College took place January 3, 1901. On 
January 17th, of the previous year, the College Corporation, all of whom 
must be members of the Augustana Synod, had been organized. The 
following are charter members: Revs. S. J. Kronberg, J. Moody, L. 
Johnson, and L. P. Stenstrom; Messrs. Aug. Nygren, Elizabeth; S. J. 
Nylander and Martin Nelson, Battle Lake ; John Anderson, Evansville ; 
P. P. Setterland, Barrett; C. J. Enstrom and L. P. Holmquist, Fergus 
Falls. Others have joined the Corporation since, so that the number is 
now twenty-two. Rev. JNloody has served as President of the Corpora- 
tion since its organization. Mr. Aug. Nygren was for several years 
treasurer. The Corporation chose from their own number six who, 
together with the President ex-ofiicio, act as a Board of Trustees. 

Rev. S. J. Kronberg, the pioneer among the ministers of the Alex- 
andria District, had labored for many years to bring about some interest 
in Christian education, and to him the institution owes much. Another 
untiring worker is to be found in the Rev. James Moody, who has sac- 
rificed much of his time and means for the success of the institution. 
Several laymen mentioned in the list of incorporators have with unswerv- 
ing zeal and energy stood by the institution and in great degree made it 
what it is. 

Through the munificent gift of Hon. J. B. Cutler of a block of land, 
the college has an imposing site on a hill, less than a mile from the 
center of the city. Another block was added by purchase in 1902. There 
are two buildings. The first building, erected during 1900, was ready for 
occupancy at the beginning of the school. It is of solid brick, seventy- 
six by forty-four feet, three stories high and basement. The first story 
contains principal's ofiice, music studios and class rooms. Dormitory 
rooms for boys are found on the second and third floors. The second 
building was erected in 1903, size eighty-eight by forty-four feet, three 
stories and basement. Dining hall and kitchen occupy the basement ; 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 295 

chapel and business hall the first floor; dormitory rooms for girls, the 
other stories. The buildings have all modern conveniences. Generally 
the financial part is, for denominational schools, one of the most difficult 
to cope v^ith. Northwestern College has not received many large sums ; 
most have been from one hundred dollars down. One exception, in the 
case of of the gift of $4,000 from Hon. J. J. Hill, should be mentioned. 
This was secured largely through the instrumentality of Mr. E. A. Nel- 
son, then (1902) State Librarian. The value of the school property is 
now $40,000. 

Few changes have been made in the corps of regular teachers. Prof. 
A. C. Youngdahl, who was called as Principal at the opening of the 
school, is still occupying that position. Prof. A. C. Holmquist has served 
as head of the Commercial department since its beginning in the fall of 
1901. Rev. James Moody is now putting in his fifth year, and Prof. 
J. G. Lundholm, principal of the Music department, his fourth year. 
Prof. F. A. Linder entered on his duties as teacher in the fall of 1909. 
With the assistant teachers the faculty as a rule numbers from eight to 
ten members. The departments are at present: Academic, Normal, 
Business, Music and Art. The number of students has varied from 65 
the first year, up to 178. 

The aim of the institution is briefly stated in the annual catalog 
as follows: "The object of the school is to prepare young men and 
women for the active duties of life, and to lay a proper foundation for 
entering higher institutions of learning. This we wish to do under the 
guidance of Christian influence and religious instruction. No depart- 
ment, or course of study, is therefore exempt from the religious instruc- 
tion given. Our aim is, furthermore, to do thoroughly and conscientiously 
the work outlined in each department. The development of a good Chris- 
tian character is of supreme importance." 

The Northivcstern College Quarterly, as its title shows, is published 
four times a year. The number of graduates in the various departments 
now (1909) is over 150. There are in existence, literary, musical and 
athletic organizations. Graduates of the Academic department are admit- 
ted to the State University without examination. 

The institution will soon pass its first decade. It is not ours to try 
to prognosticate the future. We hope it may be bright. Yet some 
adversity for an institution as well as for an individual, may be expected, 
and if it comes, will be received with humility. But let our people have 



296 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

the same unbounded faith in God as hitherto, and the stanch support of 
all interested in true Christian education, and then, we venture to predict, 
that here upon this eminence shall rise a beacon light that shall guide 
many a youth to the true haven of rest. 

Anton Cervenus Youngdahl, principal of the Northwestern Col- 
lege, was born August 26, 1872, at New Bedford, Bureau county, Illinois. 
The parents, Nels and Bengta Youngdahl, had come over to this country 
during the fifties and settled in Minnesota. Having experienced the 
hardships of the early pioneer sej:tlers in and about St. Peter, Minnesota, 
and on account of the difficulties with the Indians during these times, 
they decided to move to Illinois in 1863. Later, the family moved from 
Bureau county to Altona, Illinois. In that town A. C. Youngdahl at- 
tended the public school for some time, and in the fall of 1887 entered 
the first class of the Academy of Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. 
At the close of the regular seven years of Academic and Collegiate work, 
he was graduated from the classical course, with the degree of A. B., 
in 1894. During the years 1894-1896 he did post-graduate work at the 
University of Chicago for five quarters, specializing in English. A part 
of these two years was spent in parochial school work and in teaching 
at the then existing Martin Luther College. 

In the fall of 1896 Professor Youngdahl accepted a position in 
the public schools at Skanee, Michigan, which he held four continuous 
years, at the same time also supplying the Swedish Lutheran Church at 
that place. The Northwestern College had just been built during the 
summer and fall of 1900, and he accepted a call to become its principal, 
in which position he has accomplished fine results. In 1900 Professor 
Youngdahl married Miss Delia M. Augerson of Galesburg, Illinois. They 
have two children, Ellis and Earl. 

North Star College, by Professor O. E. Abrahamson. — The Red 
River Valley is rapidly forging ahead of many of the older sections of 
this and neighboring states in many respects. It is rich, not only in 
material wealth, but also in mind wealth. Now that the fields are well 
tilled, and there is more time to look after the educational interests of 
the growing generation, more and more attention is being paid to schools. 

For a number of years the question of establishing a denominational 
school has been considered. In the early eighties Mr. J. P. Mattson 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 297 

conducted a private class in academic subjects ; but a school was not 
organized. Interest, nevertheless, was maintained, and in the early part 
of 1908, it was recommended at the meeting of the Red River Valley Dis- 
trict of the Minnesota Conference, a part of the Augustana Synod, that 
a school be organized and located in Warren. In February, those in- 
terested in the question met and discussed various plans. In March the 
new school was incorporated under the name of North Star College. 
O. E. Abrahamson was called to become principal of the school. Shortly 
afterward C. E. Sjostrand was secured as principal for the Commercial 
department. Miss Olga Hermanson accepted the call to become teacher 
in the Music department. During the summer considerable advertising 
was done, and plans were made for the opening of the school the first of 
October, 1908. At the date set, a number of students arrived and work 
was begun. The work progressed and the number of students continued 
to grow, until at the end of the school year the enrollment reached fifty- 
six. 

Miss Minnie Tullar was secured to teach vocal music in the Music 
department; J. A. Wennerdahl assisted during a part of the year in the 
Commercial department, and Rev. E. O. Chelgren had charge of the 
classes in Christianity. During the summer of 1909 a great deal of ad- 
vertising and considerable traveling was done in the interests of North 
Star College. Everywhere the school representatives have been met with 
the utmost cordiality, and there seems to be a well recognized need for 
and a want of such an education as North Star College is prepared to 
give. 

The second year has opened most auspiciously. The enrollment has 
increased faster almost than we had even hoped for; so that now after 
two months, the enrollment is higher than it was at the end of the first 
school year. We are fortunate, also, in that all the regular teachers of 
last year continue their work in their respective departments. From the 
very beginning the school had five distinct departments ; the Academic, 
equivalent to the ordinary high school course; the Preparatory, where 
the common school branches are completed ; the Stenographic ; the Com- 
mercial; and the Music. To these has this year been added a sixth, 
the department in Domestic Economy, where instruction is given in 
cooking and sewing and other household subjects. As head of this depart- 
ment we have been fortunate in securing Miss Inga Pederson, a graduate 
of the Domestic Science department of the State University. 



298 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

We now have been most fortunate in securing as our field secretary 
and manager, Rev. G. Wahlund, who will devote his whole time to the 
interests of North Star College. He has had valuable experience along 
a number of lines of work — experience which will be of especial value to 
the school. 

The prospects for the school are very bright and promising. North 
Star College has a field of its own ; it has a wide territory, good material 
to draw from, and it has a great mission to fulfill. 

We were very fortunate in securing such splendid quarters for our 
school. The city very generously offered us the use of the upper floor 
in the Washington school building, where we have all the modern con- 
veniences. The city and the people have manifested their hearty good 
will toward the school in many other ways as well. Before the school 
was organized the Warren Commercial Club offered as a site for the 
school a tract of twenty acres of the best land to be found. This has 
already been paid for and the deed has been transferred to North Star 
College. In behalf of the school, the students — past, and those to come — 
in behalf of all interested, thanks to the Warren Commercial Club, and 
to all others who have helped both by word and deed to make North Star 
College what it is, what it hopes to be, and will be, in the not distant 
future. 



CHAPTER XV. 
^ THE SWEDISH-AMERICAN PRESS OF MINNESOTA. 

Nordvcstcm was the name of the first Swedish newspaper venture 
in MinneapoHs. It was published in 1872, with M. Gumaelius as editor. 
It expired after an existence of seven weeks. 

In the fall of the same year, Capt. J. A. Vanstrum moved his paper, 
Svenska Monitoren, from St. Paul to Minneapolis. Becoming financially 
embarrassed, and not receiving promised support, he was compelled to 
give up his newspaper enterprise. 

In the fall of 1875 a hot political campaign developed. There was no 
Swedish Republican paper in Minnesota, while there was a Democratic 
paper, Svenska Nybyggaren, (Swedish Pioneer). As the campaign be- 
came hotter, suddenly there appeared upon the political horizon a Swedish 
paper called Mulhaden (The Mole), published by "Kurre (jolly) Broth- 
ers" (Alfred Soderstrom and Alex Mobeck.) As the publishers wished 
to combine business with pleasure they mixed wit and humor with politics 
— two pages of the former and two of the latter. 

A somewhat unusual circumstance was connected with the publishmg 
of Mullvaden. Notwithstanding this paper was engaged in a sharp 
political fight with Nyby-ggaren, it was nevertheless set up and printed at 
the printing plant of the latter in St. Paul at a very moderate price, 
though it was the only Swedish printing establishment in the Twin Cities. 
The transaction gives a striking example of Swedish fidelity, in spite of 
political differences. 

Mullvaden, which was only intended as a campaign sheet, became the 
forerunner of a Swedish Republican weekly newspaper. Alfred Soderstrom 
was selected as the proper person to make arrangements, when the surges 
of the political campaign had quieted down, to commence the new enter- 
prise. In the meantime. Col. Hans Mattson, who resided at Litchfield, 
Minnesota, had received news of the contemplated venture, and as he 
was an experienced newspaper man, and better acquainted among Amen- 

299 



300 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

cans as well as Swedes, he was afterwards selected as the manager of the 
new journal. During this time Svenska Nybyggarcn had moved from St. 
Paul to Minneapolis, to seek a wider and better field for its existence, 
but it soon tired of the hopeless task of converting the Swedes to Democ- 
racy, and gave up its ghost for good. 

Minnesota Stats Tidning, the first number of which appeared the 
first week in January, 1877, was under the joint management of Col, 
Mattson, Alfred Soderstrom and Axel Dahlstrand, and after the death 
of the latter, Magnus Lunnow. The paper was Republican in its political 
faith, but no party slave. It chose the state for its field of activity, and 
left religious matters entirely to the religious press. The church paper 
Skaffaren, however, could not tolerate the new competitor, and fiercely 
assailed it for its independent stand, especially criticising it for publishing 
reports of the doings of Swedish societies, clubs, etc. The popularity and 
circulation of Stats Tidning was steadily increasing, and it existed for 
four and one-half years. 

During the latter part of this paper's existence the Oriental glimmer 
came before the vision of Col. Mattson, which became a reality in his 
appointment as United States Consul to Calcutta. The Stats Tidning 
\v2ls sold to its enemy — Skaffaren — and was for a time published as a 
separate paper, but was finally consolidated with the latter paper. 

Svenska Folkets Allehanda was first published at Litchfield in the 
fall of 1883, by Lambert Gisslow, and the following year moved to 
Minneapolis in order to secure a wider and more remunerative field. 
Arriving in that city he secured four additional partners and the paper 
was enlarged to the same size as the leading Swedish-American papers. 
Gisslow edited the paper from its commencement until the first part of 
July, 1884, assisted by N. P. Lind during the early summer of said year. 
Toward the latter part of September the owners found it necessary, on 
account of insufficient support, to discontinue its publication. The sub- 
scription list was sold to Svenska Amerikanaren of Chicago. 

Nya Vcrlden was the name of a new Swedish paper started in August, 
1889. It received an enthusiastic welcome from a host of countrymen 
who desired to see a truly liberal and politically independent newspaper 
in existence. The publishers were five in number: John J. Erickson, 
Oliver Skone, Robert H. Bergman, Otto Oberg, all practical printers, 
and also litterateur, Gudmund Akermark, as editor; business manager, 
A. E. Sandberg. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 301 

From its very start Nya Verlden seemed to have a promising future, 
but fate had something quite different in its lap. "The good die young." 
In six months it had already reached a circulation exceeding that of any 
paper ever before published in Minneapolis, and subscriptions were pour- 
ing in from all Swedish settlements in Minnesota and the Northwest. 
All was going well and undoubtedly would have continued so, had the 
proprietors not been tempted by an advantageous offer to sell the paper 
to a publishing firm from Iowa that had established itself in Minneapolis. 

After the paper was sold, Gudmund Akermark and Otto Elander 
were retained as editors, but the latter, after a few months, left and moved 
to Iron wood. The new owner of the paper, Louis Tjernagel, became 
possessed of the absurd idea of moving the paper to the obscure little 
town in Iowa — Story City. No remonstrances, by the friends of the 
paper, availed, and about Christmas time, 1890, the disastrous move to 
Iowa was made. Editor Akermark followed the paper and remained as 
editor until July, 1891, when he left and was succeeded by O. A . Linder. 
now on the editorial staff of Svenska Amerikanaren of Chicago. The 
paper suffered by the removal from Minnesota. Subscribers in that state 
looked upon the move as a desertion, and the paper in its new location 
as a mere local paper, and when renewals and new subscriptions ceased 
to come in, the natural result was death. 

Gnistan (The Spark), made its appearance in the spring of 1891, 
and was edited by the talented Axel Lundeberg. At first it appeared 
monthly and afterward semi-monthly. Altogether twenty-three numbers 
were issued. Gnistan was a liberal paper that sharply criticised all 
religious hypocrisy and political humbuggery. Its motto was "Liberty, 
equality and brotherhood." It had socialistic leanings and defended with 
force and ability the interests of the laborer. The reason of its failure 
was lack of capital and lack of perseverance on the part of the publisher. 

A small brisk huntsman upon the field of literature, that was issued 
from the publishing house of Svenska Folkets Tidning presented its first 
number to the public November 25, 1891, and the Swedish-American 
press bowed itself to the ground in honor of its appearance. When 
the noted humorous papers of Sweden — Sondags-Nisse and Kasper — 
made their appearance they were not received with any more bouquets 
than were showered upon Frisky tt en (Free Lance). It was edited by 
Ninian Werner and Gustaf Wicklund, who were well known for their 
ability in the sphere of wit and humor. The publishing house of Svenska 



302 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Folkets Tidning had the misfortune to be burned out without insurance, 
and the publication of Friskytten was connected with a heavy outlay 
which, connected with the pressure of the financial crisis at that time, 
caused the firm to sell the subscription list to, and consolidate with, 
Humoristen of Chicago, after Friskytten had existed a little over two 
years. 

Vagbrytaren (Road Breaker) was edited wholly in the interest 
of the temperance cause and commenced its publication about the year 
1893 by a corporation consisting of stockholders from diflferent parts 
of the state. Ole Kron, of Evansville, was its editor as well as the 
leading spirit. On its editorial staff was also the zealous temperance 
champion, Oscar Wolf. This newspaper, like many others, had a diffi- 
cult road to travel and was published in Minneapolis for about three 
years when it was moved to Stillwater, where, in 1898 under the name 
of Vetserlandet it went to rest. 

Popidisten. another little paper published in 1894, by C. A. Lund- 
berg, must have been very good, because it died early, existing scarcely 
one year. 

The Northland Magazine was the first and last apparition upon 
the exclusively literary field. This monthly magazine was published in 
1898, in the English language, and devoted especially to the interests 
of the Scandinavian-Americans. Olof H. Rask, one of its founders, 
entered the army upon the outbreak of the war with Spain, as Lieuten- 
ant in Co. M. of the 15th Minnesota regiment, and his partner, Marion 
S. Norelius, considered it unpractical to continue the enterprise, and it 
passed to a new owner and finally ceased to exist in its second year. 

Svenska Amerikanska Posten: The Swedish-American Publishing 
Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was organized in 1883, for the 
purpose of publishing an independent weekly paper in the Swedish lan- 
guage. The venture did not materialize permanently until early 1885. 
when the company was organized under the laws of the State of Minne- 
sota, and Svenska Amerikanska Posten has been published every week 
since March 9th, 1885. 

From the very start, the Posten was a temperance and reform pub- 
lication, which at that time was a position so unique and unusual, that 
the people at large lacked confidence in the proposition to the extent 
of investing "an entire dollar" for a year's subscription. 

The first editor and manager, N. P. Lind, was an energetic sub- 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 303 

scription solicitor, but as manager he was impractical and as editor so 
erratic and intolerant, that the company soon had to face one libel suit 
after another. The finances of the company were in a bad shape, and 
the libel suits crippled the company completely. Two other managers. 
H. Lindblom and A. P. Peterson, each in turn tried to straighten out 
the financial difficulties, but they only succeeded in making the situation 
more precarious. 

The present owner, Mr. Swan J. Turnblad, was elected manager 
in the fall of 1886, and he succeeded with his newspaper experience, 
business acumen and private capital in weathering the storm. The most 
pressing creditors were pacified and the paper given a tonic of business- 
like administration and a rational editorial policy. Agents were put 
into the field, the subscription list commenced to grow and the columns 
were filled with advertisements. 

In the early nineties the Posten was printed on rotary presses, 
being the first Swedish publication to utilize this modern invention. In 
1894 the type was first set on a Mergenthaler machine, and also in this 
respect the Posten took the lead. The progress was very gratifying, 
and the casual observer naturally considered the paper a moneymaker. 
However, the management had for years been laboring under difficul- 
ties, caused by the old debts, and this kept the company in straitened 
circumstances. Besides this, one stockholder after another scrambled 
to get under cover, refusing to pay assessments on the stock and thereby 
ridding themselves of any liability in case of failure. 

Finally, in 1897, the remaining stockholders refused to continue, 
and sold the property to Mrs. Christine Turnblad, who a year later trans- 
ferred the publication to her husband, Mr. Swan J. Turnblad. 

Now commenced the real progress. The foundation laid was solid, 
the paper increased in size, the editorial matter improved in quality 
each year, and the paper commenced to grow by leaps and bounds. In 
1901 another radical advance was made, when weekly cartoons were 
published. These created a storm of protest from the Swedish-Ameri- 
can press in general, which only served as one of the best advertise- 
ments the Posten ever received. In 1902 a colored comic series 
was added, and the paper increased in size to 20 pages, nearly double 
the size of papers charging a subscription price of $2.00 and $2.50 a 
year — and all this time the subscription price of the Svenska Ameri- 
kanska Posten remained stationary, $1.00 a year. 



304 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

January 1, 1906. the Post en moved into its present quarters in the 
New York Life Building, the finest building in the Northwest used 
partly for printing and publishing. In 1907, Mr. Turnblad installed a 
Duplex rotary press with color attachments, and soon after two-colored 
comic pages were added, and they are of the very best to be found in 
the United States, which is equivalent to the best in the world. 

The publisher believes in giving value received, and for that reason 
he lays his circulation books open to representatives of the Association 
of American Advertisers. The Posten has unquestionably the largest 
paid circulation of any Swedish publication in the United States. Others 
may claim this distinction, but no one ever submits to such rigid exami- 
nation of its circulation statements. 

The advertising patronage is very large, and the fact that advertisers 
who key their ads continue year after year in an ever increasing number, 
proves that they get satisfactory returns. 

Svcnska Folkets Tidning. — Svenska Folkets Tidning, the influential 
Swedish-American weekly, was issued for the first time October 5, 1881. 
It was then published by the Swedish Publishing Company of Minne- 
apolis, Minnesota, and its officers were: Victor Berggren, president; 
P. J. E. Clementson, treasurer; and Alfred Soderstrom, secretary. Its 
first editor was Magnus Lunnow, who held this position for nearly 
twenty years. Among the early contributors were Hon. John Lind, ex- 
governor of the State of Minnesota; Hon. Hans Mattson, Hon. Albert 
Berg, and others of great prominence. The paper was successful from 
its very start, gaining more than 3,000 subscribers within the first three 
months of its publication, and increasing this number more than three 
times within the second year. 

In 1899 the paper was sold to the Swedish Printing Company of 
Minnesota, incorporated for the purpose, and the incorporators were: 
N. O. Werner, C. A. Smith, J. P. Hedberg, P. H. Stolberg, Carl Ek- 
man, John Peterson, N. E. Nelson, Magnus Lunnow, C. J. Larson and 
Olof Hoglund. 

August 1, 1908, Hon. A. G. Johnson bought the paper from the 
shareholders, and since that time the paper has had greater success than 
ever before, both in reference to an increased circulation and an extended 
advertising patronage. 

The paper has always been liberal in its tendencies, transmitting 
and commenting upon news and the leading questions of the day without 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 



305 



social, political or clerical restrictions, yet of moderate tone. It is edu- 
cational in purpose and a great power in politics, being Republican as 
far as its party affiliations are concerned, but still retaining its political 
independence. 

The editors at the present time are: Gudmund Akermark, A. G. 
Johnson, Ernest Spongberg and David Hjelmerus. Carl Ekman is man- 




HON. A. G. JOHNSON. 



ager of the advertising department and Clarence Johnson manager of 
the circulation department. 

Svenska Kristna Hiiroldcn (1884-1886) was changed to Minneapo- 
lis Veckohlad (1887-1906) and again changed to Vcckohladet (1906). 

Organ for the Mission Friends, Forskaren (June, 1894-April, 1900) 
Philosophic -Religious paper. Moved from Rockford, Illinois. Was 
changed to monthly in 1900. 

Missions-Bladct (1892-1896). Baptist. Religious-political paper. 
Name changed to Svenska Baptisternas Tidning (February-July, 1896). 
20 



3o6 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Ldsebiblioteket Kordcn (April, 1897-June, 1898). A novel and 
story paper. 

Bndkaflen (Sept. 1895-March, 1897). A monthly society paper. 
Changed to a political newspaper. Consolidated with Svcnska Folkets 
Tidning. 

The North (June, 1889-1893). A Scandinavian publication in the 
English language. 

Vart Hem (Jan. 1893-Dec. 1894). Was published at Spring Lake. 
Moved to Minneapolis and later to St. Paul. 

Budbdraren (Dec. 1908-Dec. 1909). Mission Friends. Organ for 
the congregations in Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

Fdderneslandet (June, 1888-September, 1889). Name changed to 

Duhith Posten (October, 1889). 

Svenska Fria Pressen (October, 1891-February, 1893). Name 
changed to Minnesota Svenska Tribun (March, 1893-June, 1897). 

Dnluth Journalen (September-October, 1895). A municipal cam- 
paign paper. 

Bimetallisten (September-October, 1896). Duluth. Political cam- 
paign paper. 

Nordvcstcrns HandcJstidning (IMarch, 1902-August, 1906). Du- 
luth. Merged into Dnluth Posten. Nordvesterns Nyheter (May- June, 
1906) ; consolidated with Nordvesterns Handelstidning. 

Lutherska Hdr olden (July, 1903.) Evangelical Lutheran parish 
paper. 

Belhania (March 1909). Evangelical Lutheran parish paper. 

Upplysningens Tidehvarf (April, 1879-1882). Philosophic-Religious 
weekly. Published at Grove City. Removed there from Glencoe, ]\Iin- 
nesota. Was once issued at Hutchinson, Minnesota. 

Svenska Folkets Allehanda (October, 1883-June, 1884). Published 
at Litchfield. Removed to Minneapolis. 

Hustlaren {The Hustler). (January, 1895-March, 1896). Published 
at Virginia. Half Swedish and half English. 

Medborgaren (March, 1898-April, 1905). Published at Lindstrom, 
Minnesota. 

Nya Pressen (April-November, 1903). Published at Lindstrom, 
Minnesota. 

Nordstjdrnan (June, 1905). Published at Cambridge, Minnesota. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 307 

Agathokratcn (December, 1876-1880). Frans Herman Widstrand's 
reform paper. Issued irregularly at Buffalo, Minnesota. 

Sk'ordemannen (March, 1888-March, 1890). Agricultural paper, 
published at Winthrop; removed to Minneapolis. 

Folkvdnnen (September, 1891-December, 1892). Organ for Hope 
Academy. Published at Moorhead, Minnesota. 

Evangelistcn. Non-sectarian church paper. Started in May, 1907, 
at Stillwater. 

Saiiniiigcns Van. Published at Granby, Minnesota, May, 1906. Re- 
moved from Kiron, Iowa. Independent Baptist paper. 

Var Tjciiarc. Non-sectarian tract paper, leaning toward the Mis- 
sion Friends. Started in 1907, at Crookston. 

Salemshladct. Religious paper representing the IMission Friends, 
started at Pennock, in 1908. 

St. Peter being the chief Swedish seat of learning in Minnesota, it 
is only natural that several publications should issue there. In 1891 a 
paper was issued by the name of Hcimdai After the first number, how- 
ever, the name was changed to Gustaviana and issued monthly in Swed- 
ish and English from 1891 to 1893. That year the name was again 
changed to Giistaviis Adolphus. College Journal, Gustaf Adolph Jour- 
nalcn, published twice a month, from September, 1893 to August, 1902, 
in English and Swedish. The name was again changed in 1902 to Col- 
lege Breezes and has since been published in English only. At the col- 
lege is also published a quarterly, named Gnstavus Adolphus' College 
Bulletin since May, 1904. Sometimes it contains also articles in the 
Swedish language. In November, 1907, there was published an Anni- 
versary Souvenir, commemorating the 45th anniversary of the college. 

Skaffaren, published at St. Paul, from August, 1879 to April, 1882, 
was consolidated with Minnesota Stats Tidning and its name became 
Skaffaren och Minnesota Stats Tidning (May, 1882-March, 1885). It 
then took its old name, Skaffaren, under which name it was issued 
(March, 1885-October, 1895). The name was then changed to Minne- 
sota Stats Tidning, under which title it is still issued. It is the official 
organ of the Minnesota Conference of the Lutheran Augustana Synod. 

Minnesota Stats Tidning is the oldest periodical publication in the 
Swedish language for extending general and political intelligence in the 
great Northwest. Its first number was issued at Minneapolis January 4, 
1877, by Col. H. Mattson as owner and publisher. It was a four-paged, 



3o8 SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF ]\IINNESOTA 

seven-columned paper — a very big paper in the estimation of its readers. 
In 1887 ]\Ir. ]\Iattson sold the paper to Rev. A. P. Monten, who continued 
its publication at Minneapolis until iMay, 1882. 

Dr. E. Norelius, the pioneer patriarch of the Swedish Lutherans in 
Minnesota, had at an earlier period published Minnesota Postcn, which 
had a very short existence, and later Luthersk Kyrkotidning. The object 
of publishing these papers was to spread church news and religious read- 
ing matter. The last named paper was in 1879 changed into Skaffaren 
and the place of publication was changed from Red Wing to St. Paul. 
Dr. E. Norelius, Dr. R. Sjoblom and Rev. A. P. Monten were the pub- 
lishers. The first two gentlemen had charge of the editorial work and 
the last mentioned of the financial interests. Skaffaren was a weekly, 
and though its real object was to advance the church work, it paid some 
attention to divulging general news and to commenting, on public ques- 
tions. May 3, 1882, Minnesota Stats Tidning and Skaffaren were con- 
solidated into one paper, the name of Skaffaren being retained. A num- 
ber of years afterwards this name was laid aside and the title Minnesota 
Stats Tidning was restored to the paper. It was published by a publi- 
cation company, organized for that purpose. As editors during this 
period served H. Stockenstrom, A. Edstrom and B. Anderson, who still 
belongs to the editorial staff. The management was for some time in 
the hands of Capt. J. Osborne, who was succeeded by Mr. O. Lonegren. 

Early in the year 1887 ]Mr. A. P. J. Colberg accepted the position 
as manager and associate editor and under his prudent and careful man- 
agement Minnesota Stats Tidning has grown strong, both financially and 
otherwise. The circulation has steadily increased. It reaches thousands 
of homes outside the state of Minnesota. It has made its influence felt 
in every walk of life. 

Minnesota Stats Tidning has during all these stages of development, 
by common consent, held the important and honorable position as organ 
for the Lutheran JMinnesota Conference of the Augustana Synod. It has 
voiced the opinion of the majority of Swedish Lutherans in the Northwest. 
It had ample literary resources to be able to comment on the burning public 
questions from the viewpoint of the JMinnesota Conference. The clergy 
have been very diligent contributors and a number of the pastors have 
served on the editorial staff, either as regular contributors and cor- 
respondents or as editors of special departments. As prominent among 
these may be mentioned Reverends S. A. Lindholm, L. G. Almen,. 
G. Rast, J. G. Hultkrans and others. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 309 

Politically Minnesota Stats Tidning has always been loyally Repub- 
lican, but when truth and duty seemed to have demanded it, it has never 
shrank or wavered from supporting competent men for public office 
out of other parties. 

Minnesota Stats Tidning is published by the Minnesota Stats Tid- 
ning, Publishing Company, at corner of Third and Jackson streets, St. 
Paul. The present officers of the company are : A. E. Nelson, presi- 
dent ; J. G. Hultkrans, secretary ; and A. P. J. Colberg, treasurer and 
manager. It has developed and grown in outward appearance from its 
small size into a twelve-page paper. The present chief editor is Mr. 
O. P. Ohlson. Mr. B. Anderson and Dr. G. Rast are associate editors. 
The subscription price is one dollar, paid in advance. 

It is impossible to compute the influence Minnesota Stats Tidning 
has wielded in the marvelous growth and development of Christian 
culture among the Swedes in Minnesota. It has always been loyal to 
the best interests of the home, the church and the state. It has taken 
an active part in advancing home and foreign missions, schools and 
charitable institutions within the Minnesota Conference. It has even 
taken an active part in the temperance movement and other moral 
reforms. It has kept its pages open for pure and edifying reading matter. 
It has kept its advertisements clean from offensive elements, so that it 
could be read by the young people and children. It has been the ambi- 
tion of the publishers to publish a paper that is fit to be read in the 
Christian home and we may predict for it a bright and great future in 
going, the errands of that which is pure and good and honorable. 

Minnesota Posten (1890-May, 1894), was consolidated with Folkets 
Nyheter (May, 1894-December, 1894), when the latter paper was merged 
with Va7't Hem (January-October, 1895), when it was sold and trans- 
ferred to Omaha, Nebraska. 

There have been attempts made to issue daily papers in the Swedish 
language, but without success. The first paper was called Svenska Dag- 
bladet and was published in 1885. Only a few numbers were issued. 
Svenska Dagbladet was again started in November, 1887, and lasted to 
June, 1888. 

Zions Vakt (January-October, 1876). Baptist, was a continuation 
of Zions Viiktare, which paper with plant was destroyed in the Chicago 
fire of 1871, 

Forsamlingshladet, Methodist (January, 1886-September, 1890). 

Frcja, illustrated family magazine (November, 1893-August, 1894). 



3IO SWEDISH-AMERICAXS OF ^IINNESOTA 

Ungdoins-Vanncn. Illustrated Lutheran magazine for young people 
(November, 1895-December, 1897). 

Amatoren, Music journal (October, 1895-June, 1896). 

Fdrsamlings-Vanncn (March, 1896-October, 1900). 

Trons Scgcr, Baptist (November, 1900-March, 1905). 

Aurora. Organ for phrenology, etc. (July, 1900-October, 1901). 

Sdiigcii, a paper for music and song in the church and the home 
(1901-1906). Only four numbers were issued irregularly. 

Luthcrsk Tidskrift (January, 1903-February, 1908), when the name 
was changed to Kina Missiondrcn. Especially devoted to mission work 
in China. 

Evangclii Templet (1908). Non-sectarian monthly. 

/ Mdstarens Tjdnst (August, 1903). Evangelical Lutheran paper. 

The Royal Star (April, 1905-December, 1907). Half English; half 
Swedish. A young peoples' paper, removed from Moline, Illinois. 

Kyrko-Hdrolden (June, 1907), Evangelical Lutheran church paper 
for the South St. Paul district. 

The Acorn (November, 1908), English-Swedish; pubhshed by the 
students at Bethel Academy. 

Tahitha (October, 1909). A quarterly in the interests of the Beth- 
esda Deaconess Home. 

Vecko-Bulletinen (May, 1906), Baptist parish paper. 

KristUg Filosodsk Tidskrift, illustrated magazine for young people 
(April, 1887-September, 1889). 

Sdndagsskolvdnnen, Mission Friends (December, 1885). 

Stads Missiondren (April-December, 1889). Evangelical Lutheran 
parish paper. 

Hemmet (July, 1889-September, 1891). A ladies' household paper. 

Fridshudet (May, 1888). Evangelical Lutheran church paper. 

Forsamlingsbladet (May, 1888-August, 1890). Baptist church paper. 

Det Macedoniska Ropet (October, 1889), Baptist, foreign mission 
paper. 

Svenska Universalisten (April, 1889-Deceniber, 1893. Changed its 
name to Mdnskligheten (January-October, 1894, November, 1897-June, 
1903). Universalist and advocating the Henry George ideas. 

Roman-J ournalen (July-November, 1889). Story paper; was ab- 
sorbed by Ronianbladet. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 311 

Ledstjcrnan (December, 1889-March, 1891). Jllustrated young 
peoples' paper. 

Svensk Familjc Journal (January, 1889). 

Gnistan (March, 1891-January, 1892). Unitarian and Socialistic 
paper. 

Gittit (February, 1892-December, 1908). Devoted to music and 
song. 

Den Apostoliska Kyrkan (May, 1893-November, 1894). Episcopal 
church paper. 

Bcthlehcms-Fdrsamlingcns Stadsmission (March, 1893). 

Svensk Kyrkotidning (October, 1893-March, 1894). Episcopal 
church paper. u 

Den Skandinaviska Spiritualist en (May, 1894-December, 1897). The 
name was changed to Nya Tiden (January, 1898-November, 1900). 
SpirituaHstic. 

Forgdt-Mig-Ej (March, 1897-May, 1898). Non-sectarian family 
paper. 

Sanning och Frihet (January, 1896). Organ for the Free Mission 
Church. 

Linnea (January, 1898-April, 1905). Absorbed by Minneapolis 
Vcckohlad. Ungdoms-Vdnnen (January, 1898-November, 1899). Moved 
from St. Paul to Minneapolis and later to Rock Island. Published by 
the Augustana Book Concern. 

Good Templar en (INIay, 1900). Official organ for the Minnesota 
Scandinavian Grand lodge of the I. O. G. T. Half Swedish and half 
Norwegian. 

Den Sjndande Basiinen (July-December, 1900). Removed to Chi- 
cago, where its name was changed to Sanningens Tolk (January, 1901). 
Represents Albert Dahlstrom's sect, "De Helige." 

Sanningens Vein (January, 1901-June, 1903). Independent Baptist. 
Removed to Kiron, Iowa. 

Ljus pd Vdgen (December, 1900-January. 1902). Non-sectarian 
religious monthly. 

Missions-Posten (May,1901-May, 1909). Was merged in Missions- 
tidningen. 

For Svenska Hem (December, 1901-November, 1904). Illustrated 
family paper. Removed to Chicago. 



312 SWEDISH-AMERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

Elim (December, 1903-AIay, 1905). Baptist. Was started as a 
weekly in January, 1908, and is still being- issued. 

Odalmannen (May, 1904). An agricultural paper. 

Missionshancrct (November, 1904). Organ for the Congregation- 
alists. 

The Linnean (May, 1905-August, 1908). Illustrated monthly. 

Musiktidning (January, 1906). 

Nya Idnn (July, 1906). Illustrated monthly for the woman and the 
home. 

Kyrkosangcn (November, 1906). Issued quarterlv ; removed to 
St. Peter. 

Nordiska Hem (June, 1907). 

St. Pauli-Fdrsanilingens Budhararc (September, 1908). Quarterly; 
Evangelical Lutheran. 

Missionstidningcn (July, 1909). Belongs to the Free Mission 
Friends ; issued bi-weekly. 

Brcfdufvan (October, 1909). Organ for the Scandinavian Mission 
Society of America. 

RaddningsUnan (January, 1909). Non-sectarian; organ for the 
Women's Alliance Mission. 

The Picayune (January, 1909). Pi-inted in English; issued by the 
facuhy and students of Minnesota College. 

In April, 1896, Baneret, of Minneapolis, had its birth. Influenced 
by an evident need of a young people's paper a number of Swedish 
Baptist ministers and educators in Chicago joined forces and gave the 
paper its first start. The name given to it at the time of its birth was 
Ungdomens Tidning. Its first editor was John Romell, who died about 
a year later. After him Rev. G. A. Hagstrom and Rev. E. J. Nordlander 
became editors. After about two years of hard financial struggles the 
paper fell into the hands of Rev. A. A. Holmgren, who for a number of 
years continued its publication in Burlington, Iowa, until 1902, when it 
was found expedient to remove its place of publication to Minneapolis, 
Minnesota, whence it is still regularly issued, fifty-two times a year. 

In 1901 the name was changed from Ungdomens Tidning to Baneret, 
and in December, 1902, the Fyrhaken, a monthly paper, published in 
Minneapolis for several years, was consolidated into Baneret. 

The original plan to make and maintain Baneret as a young people's 
paper was strictly followed for several years, but as its influence and 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 313 

circulation grew, it seemed that the field demanded something more than 
a young people's organ. And yet the importance of a paper devoted to 
the cause of the growing generation was never for one moment forgotten. 
But the growing activity in church life, the broadening denominational 
policy, the educational movement, the increasing active benevolence, 
demanded a paper which was progressive enough to fall in line with the 
increasing activity and still had an established place in the denomina- 
tional literature. Thus it came about that Baneret's program was made 
wide enough to satisfy all just demands on a denominational paper of 
the progressive type. 

This change in policy was naturally followed by other important 
changes. During the years of its existence its space has more than 
doubled, and the monthly has developed into a newsy, wide-awake weekly, 
which every seventh day brings the news of the Kingdom into thousands 
of homes. 

Five years later, or in 1907, in conjunction with Mr. A. A. Holm- 
gren, who had for many years been the owner and publisher of Baneret, a 
number of men interested in this venture joined themselves together and 
under the laws of the state of Minnesota formed an organization, the 
purpose of which is expressed in the articles of incorporation, viz. : 

"The general nature of the business of this corporation shall be to 
issue, print, publish, sell and deal in newspapers, books and tracts, and 
to conduct a general job printing business, and to buy, own and hold real 
estate sufficient to carry on its said business." 

The amount of the authorized capital stock is twenty-five thousand 
dollars, divided into one thousand shares, the par value of each share 
being twenty-five dollars. Of this capital more than one-third was paid 
in before the corporation began its business. 

The company's first board of directors consisted of Magnus Larson, 
St. Paul ; A. A. Holmgren, J. O. Backlund, Olof Bodien. V. E. Hedberg, 
C. A. Aldeen and Gustaf A. Tornkvist, all of Minneapolis. Out of this 
board of directors the following officers were chosen : President, Mag- 
nus Larson ; vice-president, O. Bodien ; secretary, J. O. Backlund ; treas- 
urer, V. E. Hedberg ; business manager, A. A. Holmgren. 

During the Baneret's existence as a Weekly paper several prominent 
men have been its editor, as Dr. G. Arvid Gordh, now principal of 
Bethel Academy, St. Paul; Rev. Eric Sjostrand, at present Sunday 
school missionary in Sweden, and Professor J. O. Backlund, for some 
time connected with Bethel Academy but at present pastor at Strand- 



314 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

bur?, S. D. Rev. C. A. Sandvall and Rev. G. A. Tornkvist have on 
several occasions been assistant editors. 

The present editor, Mr. A. A. Hohngren, has edited the Bancret 
since December i, 1908, and Mr. Andrew G. Johnson has been the treas- 
urer and piloted the business with a safe and steady hand. 

The Bancret is the only Swedish religious paper in this country 
which has been broad-minded enough to open its columns for news from 
all the different denominations. It contains also more news from the 
world-wide mission field than any other Swedish religious newspaper 
published in America. It stands for true freedom and is looked upon as 
an organ for the "New Movement" or the "Pentecostal Movement," and 
certainly it has a large field. 

Vcckohladet dates its beginning from the year 1884, when a little 
paper, Svcnska Kristna Harolden, was published on the initiative of Rev. 
E. Aug. Skogsbergh. The object of this publication was primarily to be of 
service among the people at that time affiliated in the Swedish Evangelical 
Mission movement, for the extension of Christian work and upbuilding of 
the churches, at the same time devoting itself to general information, the 
temperance movement and to discussions of sociological and political ques- 
tions. Like so many others of its colleagues, Harolden encountered a good 
deal of financial obstacles, which made the performance of its mission 
fraught with difficulties. Already, in February, 1890, the paper was 
taken over by a stock company, organized for that purpose. Before this 
time, however, the paper had changed its name to Minneapolis Veckoblad, 
a name under which it was known as late as 1906, when it was abbreviated 
to Veckobladet. 

The program of the paper has remained consistently the same through- 
out during its development, and today, twenty-six years after its founda- 
tion, it is edited in the same spirit and with the same object: promotion of 
Christian work and fellowship and civic righteousness. 

Rev. Skogsbergh, the originator and founder of the paper, was for a 
number of years its editor, simultaneously pastor of the Swedish taber- 
nacle, in the basement of which the paper for many years had its office. 
Among those men, who at some time or other have served on its editorial 
staff, are Prof. D. Nyvall, Prof. A. Mellander, Gustaf Theden, Rev. K. 
Newquist, Rev. Andrew Johnson, Rev. N. Heiner, Gustav Frykman and 
Rev. Hjalmar Sundquist, the two last mentioned editing the paper at the 
present time. 

Although the paper has had its good share of the struggles commonly 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 315 

shared by all Swedish-American publications, it has during the last num- 
ber of years been on a good financial basis. It has developed and matured 
to an organ of strength, wielding a large and growing influence in the 
religious^field, as well as for the temperance movement, fearlessly cham- 
pioning also independence of political thought. 

The present board of management of the Vcckobladct consists of the 
following gentlemen, residing all, with one exception, in Minneapolis: 
Aaron Carlson, president ; A. L. Skoog, secretary ; S. A. Matson, manager ; 
C. V. Bowman, O. L. Bruce, C. M. E. Carlson, A. E. Palmquist, F. O. 
Streed and D. F. Swenson. 

The subscription price of the Vcckobladct is $1.50 per year. The 
present quarters of the paper is at 603 Second avenue, South, Minneapolis, 
Minnesota. 

GuDMUND Akermark.— The subject of this sketch was born in 
Onsala, Halland, in 1863, and is of an old family, which has given Sweden 
many gifted clergymen. He lost his mother at the age of three and his 
father at six; received his education first at the public graded 
schools and afterwards for a couple of years attended the so-called ele- 
mentary school, where he was enabled to acquire a higher education than 
was afforded in the common schools. From the age of fourteen he had 
to eke out his own livelihood and began his career as clerk in a store. 
However, he had never evinced any marked inclination for business and 
that kind of work did not particularly suit his taste, but anyway he 
stuck to it for seven years. From early boyhood he had shown literary 
• tendencies and had the pleasure to see his first poetical attempts published 
in several newspapers. 

In April, 1887, he emigrated to America, went through the mill as 
the rest of us have, but soon saw his ambition to become a newspaper 
man gratified. In the fall of the same year an opportunity presented 
itself for him to engage in newspaper business, and as editor he has since 
been connected with several papers in the North and Southwest— 1887 
with Svcnska Posten at Omaha, Nebraska; 1888 with Omaha Svcnska 
Trihxin in the same city ; and 1889 with Svcnska Amcrikanska Posten, at 
Minneapolis. 

In the year 1890 he became half ow^ier and editor of Nya Vdrldcn, 
also published from Minneapolis. The paper was going well and undoubt- 
edly would have continued so had the proprietors not been tempted by 
an advantageous offer to sell the paper to a publishing firm from Iowa. 



3i6 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

After the paper was sold Akermark followed the new owner to Story 
City, Iowa, and remained as editor until July, 1891, when he moved to 
Ironwood, Michigan, and edited Blokadbrytarcn. In the beginning of 
the same year he entered into partnership with Otto Elander to publish 
Frihet, but discovered, to quote his own words, "that the liberty gained 
really was no liberty at all" took a Wisconsin farm in lease — felt inclined 
to till the soil for a change and settled on a farm at Wood Lake, Wis- 
consin. In the fall of 1892 he was appointed editor of Skdrdeinannen, 
an agricultural paper, and attended to his duties, sometimes from his 
country place, making actual studies of his task, and sometimes residing 
in Minneapolis, where the paper w^as published. 

Four years later, or 1897, Svenska Folkets Tidning at Minneapolis 
engaged him, and he filled a position as associate editor until 1903, when 
he was appointed editor-in-chief. Being an authority on agricultural 
matters, he is also editor of Odalmannen, a paper for farm and the home, 
published semi-monthly by the owners of Svenska Folkets Tidning. 

Akermark is an experienced and thorough newspaper man, a good 
writer, now and then in verse, and stands for liberal and modern ideas. 
He was married, in 1891, to Constance Nelson, and the union has been 
blessed with four children. 



CHAPTER XVI. 
MINNESOTA SWEDES IN THE CIVIL WAR. 

About 1860 a little company of militia was organized in Red Wing. 
Hans Mattson became one of its lieutenants and took active part in its 
drills and maneuvres. Although none of the men who took part in these 
movements could foresee or suspect the approach of the awful struggle 
which was to pkmge the country into a deluge of fire and blood, still 
they all seemed to have a presentiment that critical times were near at 
hand, and that it was the duty of all true citizens to make ready for 
them. It is a significant fact that fifty-four men out of that little com- 
pany of only sixty, within two years became officers or soldiers in the 
volunteer army of the United States. Although the Scandinavian immi- 
grants had been in the state only a few years, they still seemed to take 
as great interest in the threatening political difficulties of the times, and 
were found to be just as willing as their native fellow-citizens to sacri- 
fice their blood and lives for the Union. 

On the afternoon of April 12, 1861, the news spread like wild-fire, 
that the rebels of the South had fired on Fort Sumter, which caused sur- 
prise and intense indignation. In a few days the governor of Minnesota 
issued a proclamation that one thousand men should be ready to leave 
the young state for the seat of war. More than a sufficient number of 
companies were already organized to fill this regiment, and the only 
question was, who were to have the first chance? This first excitement 
was so sudden that the Scandinavians, who are more deliberate in such 
matters, scarcely knew what was going on before the first enlistment was 
made. 

After a few months, when the battle of Bull Run had been fought, 
people commenced to see that the Rebellion could not be subdued within 
a few months but that the war would be long and bitter. Then the 
Scandinavians of Minnesota began to stir. They had heard that some 
Swedes in Illinois, especially ]^Iajor— afterward General — Stohlbrand, 



3i8 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

and some others, had entered the army. A few Scandinavians had also 
enHsted in the First and Second regiments, but there Avas no general 
rising among them in Minnesota until Hans Mattson published an appeal 
in the Swedish newspaper Hemlandct. The following is an extract from 
that paper: 

"To THE Scandinavians of Minnesota! 

"It is high time for us, as a people, to rise with sword in hand, and 
fight for our adopted country and for liberty. 

"This country is in danger. A gigantic power has arisen against 
it and at the same time against liberty and democracy, in order to crush 
them. 

"Our state has already furnished two thousand men, and will soon 
be called upon for as many more to engage in the war. Among the 
population of the state the Scandinavians number about one-twelfth, a 
part of its most hardy and enduring people, and ought to furnish at 
least three or four hundred men for this army. This land which we, as 
strangers, have made our home, has received us with friendship and hos- 
pitality. We enjoy equal privileges with the native born. The path to 
honor and fortune is alike open to us and them. The law protects and 
befriends us all alike. We have also sworn allegiance to the same. 

"Countrymen, 'Arise to arms ; our adopted country calls !' Let us 
prove ourselves worthy of that land, and of those heroes from whom 
we descend. 

"I hereby offer myself as one of that number, and I am confident 
that many of you are ready and willing to do likewise. Let each settle- 
ment send forth its little squad. ]\Iany in this neighborhood are now 
ready to go. A third regiment will soon be called by the governor of 
this state. Let us, then, have ready a number of men of the right kind, 
and offer our services as a part of the same. Let us place ourselves on 
the side of liberty and truth, not only with words but with strong arms, — 
with our lives. Then shall our friends in the home of our childhood 
rejoice over us. Our children and children's children shall hereafter 
pronounce our names with reverence. We shall ourselves be happy in 
the consciousness of having performed our duty, and should death on 
the field of battle be our lot, then shall our parents, wives, children, and 
friends find some consolation in their sorrow in the conviction that they, 
also, by their noble sacrifices, have contributed to the defense and victory 



SWEDISH-A^IERICANS OF MINNESOTA 319 

of right, justice, and liberty. And a grateful people shall not withhold 
from them its sympathy and friendship." 

A few days later Mattson left wife, home, and two children, and 
started for Fort Snelling, but not alone ; about seventy Swedes and thirty 
Norwegians from Red Wing, Vasa, Chisago Lake, Holden, Wanamingo, 
Stillwater, Albert Lea and other places went there with him, or joined 
in the course of a few days. 

Meanwhile the Third Regiment had been called, and one hundred 
of Mattson's companions were mustered in as Company D of that regi- 
ment, with himself as captain, a Norwegian, L. K. Aaker, as first lieu- 
tenant, and an old friend of Mattson's, H. Eustrom, as second lieuten- 
ant. Although Company D was the only military organization in this 
state consisting exclusively of Scandinavians, there were quite a num- 
ber of those nationalities in every regiment and company organized 
afterwards. 

"Company D," writes Col. Hans Mattson, "consisted of the very 
flower of the young Scandinavians. It was regarded from the start as 
a model company, and maintained its rank as such during the whole 
term of four years' service. Always orderly, sober, obedient and faith- 
ful to every duty, the men of Company D, though foreigners by birth, 
won and always kept the affectionate regard and fullest confidence of 
their native-born comrades. A large majority of them are resting in 
the last grand bivouac, many under the genial Southern sun, hut no 
words of reproach or doubt of soldierly honor has ever been heard 
against any of those living or dead." From Illinois there were many 
partially or wholly Swedish companies, one of which belonged to the 
Fortj'-third Illinois Regiment, under the lamented Captain Arosenius, 
and came under Mattson's command a few years later in Arkansas. 
There were also many prominent officers in other regiments, such as 
General C. J. Stohlbrand. Colonels Vegesack, Malniborg, Steelhammar, 
Broddy. Elfving and Brydolf; Captains Stenbeck, Silfversparre, Sparr- 
strom, Lempke, Chas. Johnson, Erik Johnson, Vanstrum, Lindberg, etc., 
and Lieutenants Osborne, Edgren, Liljengren. Johnson, Lindall, Olson, 
Gustafson, Lundberg, and many others. The St. Paul Press for October 
15, 1861, has the following: We congratulate Captain Mattson and his 
countrymen for the splendid company of Swedes and Norwegians which 
he commands. Never was a better company mustered in for service." 

During the war the Union army had mustered in 2,883,000 men, 



320 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF ^IIXNESOTA 

400,000 of whom lost their Hves. To this army the young state of Alin- 
nesota had contributed 25,052, or about one-seventh of her entire popu- 
lation. Of this number 2.500 were killed or died of sickness during the 
war, and it has been calculated that 5,000 died after the war on account 
of wounds and diseases contracted during service. The Third Regiment 
had, during four years' service, a total enrollment of 1,417, of which 
number there were left only 432 when the regiment returned and was 
mustered out in September, 1865. 

In the beginning of July Captain ]\Iattson, on an expedition to the 
South, took sick with the fever, and would probably have died, had not 
his friend, Captain Eustrom, succeeded in getting him into a rebel fam- 
ily, where he was treated with the greatest care, so that in a few days he 
was able to go by rail to Alinnesota on a twenty days' leave of absence. 
On returning, after having spent a fortnight in the bosom of his family, 
to resume his command, he passed through Chicago where he was 
met by the startling news that the Third Regiment had been captured by 
the enemy, and was on the march to the prisons of the South. He arrived 
in Tennessee two days later, where he met the soldiers returning from 
the mountains where they had been released by the enemy on written 
parole. They were sore-footed, exhausted, hungry and wild with anger, 
and looked more like a lot of ragged beggars than the well-disciplined 
soldiers they had been a few days before. All the captured officers had 
been taken to the South, where they were kept in prison several months. 
One of these was Captain Eustrom who, in company with Lieutenant 
Taylor, made his escape from a hospital building, some negroes giving 
them clothes, and, through almost incredible hardships and dangers, 
they succeeded in reaching their own lines. 

The capitulation of this splendid regiment was one of the most de- 
plorable events of its kind during the wdiole war. It had defended itself 
with great valor, and, in fact defeated the enemy, when for some un- 
accountable reason, Colonel H. C. Lester decided to surrender, and he 
exerted such great influence over the officers that seven company com- 
manders went over to his side in the council of war, which he called, 
while the remaining officers and the soldiers were strongly opposed to 
capitulation. When the men finally were ordered to stack arms they did 
so with tears in their eyes, complaining bitterly, because they were not 
allowed to fight any longer. All the officers w-ho had been in favor of 
capitulation were afterward dismissed from service in disgrace. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 321 

Arriving- at Nashville Captain Mattson was immediately ordered 
to assume command of his own scattered regiment, of the Ninth Michi- 
gan Infantry Regiment, and of a battery of artillery, which had also 
capitulated on that fatal Sunday. Having supplied the men with cloth- 
ing and other necessaries, he took them by steamboats to a camp for 
prisoners at St. Louis. On his return to Nashville he was appointed 
member of a general court martial and shortly after its president, which 
position he occupied from July to December, 1862. 

About this time the well known Indian massacre in the western 
settlements of Alinnesota took place, when more than one thousand peace- 
able citizens, mostly women and children, and among those many Scan- 
dinavians, were cruelly butchered, and their houses and property burned 
and destroyed. The soldiers of the Third Regiment had given their 
parole not to take up arms against the enemy until they were properly 
exchanged, but, as this did not have anything to do with the Indian 
war, they were ordered from St. Louis to Minnesota and put under the 
command of Major Welch, of the Fourth Regiment, and soon distin- 
guished themselves by their fine maneuvers and valor in the struggle with 
the Indians. 

In the month of December the officers were exchanged and ordered 
back to Fort Snelling to where the enlisted men had also returned from 
the Indian war. In January, 1863, they again left Minnesota for the 
South where the whole of the winter and spring were devoted to expe- 
ditions against guerillas and Confederate recruiting camps in southern 
Tennessee. Most of the time Captain Mattson commanded the regiment 
and had many skirmishes with the enemy, and captured a number of 
prisoners. In the beginning of June the regiment joined the forces 
that were besieging Vicksburg under the command of General Grant, 
and remained there until that city had capitulated. 

In a letter to Hemlandet, dated Vicksburg, June 24, Colonel Matt- 
son wrote, in part : "As to the Swedes in the army, I may mention that, 
besides our Company D, there are in the same division the company of 
Captain Arosenius of the Forty-third Illinois Regiment, and that of 
Captain Corneliusson of the Twenty-third Wisconsin Regiment, and a 
number of Swedes of the other regiments from Illinois and Wisconsin, 
and of the Fourth and Fifth Minnesota regiments. Old Companv D is 
a model, as usual, — the best one I have seen yet. Both officers and men 
21 



322 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

are quiet, orderly, cheerful and obedient, always faithful at their post, 
and ready to go wherever dut>' calls them. They are loved and respected 
by all who come in contact with them. When I feel sad or despondent, 
all I need to do is to walk along the camp street and take a look at 
my old Scandinavians. Their calm and earnest demeanor always makes 
me glad and proud. I ask for no greater honor than to point them out 
to some stranger, saying: 'This is my old company.' Not these alone, 
however, but all of my countrymen whom I met in the army have a 
good name, and are considered most reliable and able soldiers." 

About a week later Vicksburg capitulated, and the Union army took 
32,000 prisoners, fifteen generals, two thousand other officers, and nearly 
two hundred cannon. A few days after the surrender of Vicksburg the 
Third Regiment was transferred to the Seventh Army Corps and took 
part in the campaign against Little Rock, which city soon fell in the 
Union army's hands. On the march into the captured city the next 
morning the Third Regiment was accorded the place of honor at the 
head of the army. It was then designated to act as provost-guard for 
the purpose of maintaining order, and the whole regiment was soon 
quartered in the state capitol. The Third Regiment was occupied with 
this task until the following spring, and performed its duty so well, that 
the governor of Arkansas, in a message, expressed himself regarding it, 
in the following language: "During the time of their service in our 
capital good order has prevailed and they have commanded the respect 
of our citizens. When called upon to meet the enemy they have proven 
themselves equal to any task and reliable in the hour of imminent danger. 
Such men are an honor to our government and the cause which they 
serve. Minnesota may justly feel proud of them, and they will prove 
themselves to be worthy sons of that state wherever duty calls them." 

The ranks of the regiment had by this time been badly decimated, 
and towards Christmas Mr. Mattson, who after the surrender of Vicks- 
burg had been promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, was sent 
with a detachment of officers to Fort Snelling for the purpose of re- 
cruiting. In March he returned with 400 recruits. Shortly afterward 
the battle of Fitzhugh's Woods, Arkansas, was fought, and the regi- 
ment distinguished itself by very gallant conduct. During the stay at 
Little Rock most of the soldiers had re-enlisted for three years, or until 
the close of the war, whereby it acquired the title of "Veteran Regiment." 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 323 

But that was not the only distinction which was conferred on our men. 
A large number of young soldiers had been promoted from the ranks 
to be officers in several negro regiments and some as officers of new 
regiments of their own state. Mr. Mattson having been promoted to 
colonel of the regiment in April, 1864, was ordered to march with its 
eight hundred men to Pine Blufif, on the Arkansas river. 

From this time until the beginning of August the regiment experi- 
enced such hardships and sufferings from disease and hard service, that 
it sustained far greater losses from these causes than any other regi- 
ment from Minnesota had met with in open battle. Pine Bluff was a 
veritable pesthole; the water was of a greenish color, the air full of 
germs of disease and poisonous vapors. Continually surrounded and 
threatened by a vigilant enemy, the exhausted and sickly soldiers had 
to get up at three o'clock every morning to work at the intrenchments 
and strengthening and protecting their position in different ways. Mean- 
while thq number of those fit for duty was daily decreasing at an appal- 
ling rate. The hospitals were overcrowded with patients, and the few 
men left for duty were continually occupied in caring for the sick and 
burying the dead, until there were not men enough left to bury their dead 
comrades, and a recently arrived regiment had to assist in performing 
this sad duty. 

At a critical moment an order was received from Washington to 
send six companies to Minnesota on a six weeks' veteran furlough, to 
which the regiment was entitled. Those went who were able to. 
Many died on the way, but those who survived until they reached Min- 
nesota were soon restored to usual health and strength, so they could 
return in due time and again take part in the campaign in Arkansas. 
The remaining four companies, which had been furloughed the previous 
winter, were ordered from Pine Bluff to Duvall's Bluff, on the White 
river, where the whole regiment was united in the beginning of October, 
and remained in winter quarters until the spring of 1865. 

About the end of September, 1865, the regiment was ordered home, 
and on September 2, it was mustered out at Fort Snelling. 

We have dwelt upon the history of the Third Minnesota Volunteer 
Regiment to an extent that may seem a little out of proportion, but the 
reason is plain. First, the regiment, according to all available sources 
of information, was one of the best in the whole Union army ; secondly, 
it contained the splendid Company D, consisting mostly of Swedes, and 



324 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

thirdly, it was finally commanded by a Swede, Colonel Hans Mattson, on 
whose initiative Company D was raised and as the commander of which 
he started his military career in this country. 

The First Infantry was organized April, 1861 ; went into camp 
at Fort Snelling; mustered by Captain Anderson D. Nelson, U. S. A., 
on the 29th; ordered to Washington, D. C, June 14, 1861. The follow- 
ing is a sketch of the marches, battles, sieges and skirmishes in which 
this regiment participated: First Bull Run, July 21, 1861; Edwards 
Ferry, October 22, 1861; Yorktown, May 7, 1862; Fair Oaks, June 1, 
1862; Peach Orchard, June 29, 1862; Savage Station, June 29, 1862; 
Glendale, June 30, 1862; Nelson's Farm, June 30, 1862; Malvern Hill, 
July 1, 1862; Vienna, September 2, 1862; Antietam, September 17, 
1862; First Fredericksburg, December 11, 12 and 13, 1862; Second 
Fredericksburg, May 3, 1863 ; Gettysburg, July 2 and 3, 1863, and Bris- 
tow Station, October 14, 1863. Discharged at Fort Snelling, May 5, 
1864. 

Company A : Nels E. Nelson, sergeant, discharged November 6, 
1862, for disability ; Olof Nelson, died September 8, '62, at Fort Monroe ; 
Andrew Olson, February 3, '63, discharged for disability; Hans M. 
Simonson, died of wounds at Gettysburg. 

Company B: John Anderson, mustered out May 5, '64; Gustaf A. 
Grandstrand, wounded at Bull Run, discharged for disability, June 9, 
'62; Swen Johnson, wounded at Antietam, discharged for disability, 
December 14, '62; David Johnson, wounded at Gettysburg, discharged 
September 29, '63 ; Samuel Johnson, discharged for disability, November 
17, '61 ; Andrew Johnson, transferred from Company I, discharged for 
disability, April 30, '63 ; Chas. F. Nelson, discharged per order, August 
2, '61; Erik Nystedt, wounded at Gettysburg, May 5, '64; Hakan 
Olson, discharged for disability, November 8, '61 ; Andrew Peterson, 
discharged for disability, November 24, '61 ; Andrew P. Quist, wounded 
at Antietam and Gettysburg; John P. Schonbeck, wounded at Antietam 
and Gettysburg. 

Company C: John Abell, transferred to 1st Battalion; Charles 
Blanquist, absent as paroled prisoner on discharge of regiment ; John 
Lindberg, discharged May 5, '64; John Lonquist, re-enlisted, transferred 
to 1st Battalion; Daniel M. Robertson, wounded at Bull Run, supposed 
to be mortal. 

Company D was made up of Englishmen and American.".. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 325 

Company E: Wm. R. Johnson, wounded at Antietam, discharged 
for disability; Peter Wehn, wounded at Bull Run, died July 6, '63 of 
wounds, at Gettysburg. 

Company F: Peter Borgh, re-enlisted in 1st Battalion; John Lind- 
quist, discharged for disability, August 31, '62; John Lindergreen, dis- 
charged for disability, August 31, '62; Paul Nelson; Thomas Peterson, 
wounded at Savage Station ; Hans Peterson, wounded at Savage Station ; 
killed at Bristow. 

Company G: Albert Johnson, corporal, discharged, May 5, '64; 
Stefan Johnson, discharged for disability, December 8, '61. 

Company H: Samuel Johnson, transferred to ist Battalion; H. 
W. Lindergreen, discharged for disability, July 23, '62; M. C. Monson, 
discharged for disability. 

Company I: Carl M. Carlson, musician, discharged. May 5, '64; 
Andrew Johnson, tranferred to Company H, February i, '62; Nels 
Johnson, transferred to 4th U. S. Cavalry, October 23, '62; John A. 
Johnson, transferred to 4th U. S. Cavalry, October 23, '62; Herman 
Lawson, corporal, wounded at Bull Run and Gettysburg. 

Company K: Geo. F. Johnson, transferred to 1st Battalion. 

The First Battalion.— Company A: Edward Erickson, corporal, 
wounded June 22, '64, near Petersburg; Charles W. Hanson, mustered 
out July 14, '65 ; Martin Jakobson, mustered out July 14, '65 ; John John- 
son, mustered out July 14, '65 ; Wm. H. Johnson, musician, George F. 
Johnson, vet., corporal, mustered out July 14, '65 ; John Lonquist, killed 
June 22, '64. near Petersburg; Andrew Nelson and E. B. Nelson, mus- 
tered out July 14, '65. 

Company B : Peter Bergh, prisoner at Andersonville eight months, 
discharged July 24, '65, absent, sick; Carl Carlson, discharged 1865, 
absent; Samuel Johnson, corporal, mustered out July 14, '65; Magnus 
Magnuson, mustered out July 14, '65; Matts Manson, mustered out 
July 14, '65 ; John Nelson, discharged on expiration of term ; Paul Nel- 
son, veteran, discharged on expiration of term; Olof Olsen, mustered 
out' July 14, '65; Peter Peterson, died December 15, '64, in prison at 
Salisbury, N. C. ; Carl Peterson, mustered out July 14, '65; Peter Per- 
son, mustered out July 14, '65; Swan Erikson, discharged per order, 
June 7, '65; John Swanson, discharged in 1865, absent, sick. 

Company C : Frank W. Charlson, mustered out July 14, '65 ; Robert 



326 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Johnson, discharged in hospital, 1865; Kristofer Nilson, mustered out 
July 14, '65 ; I. B. Palmquist, mustered out July 14, '65. 

Company D : Andrew Linn, mustered out July 14, '65 ; Erik Ostrom, 
mustered out July 14, '65 ; Swan P. Peterson, mustered out July 14, '65. 

Company E : Lars Ifvarson, discharged, per order ; Martin Johnson, 
discharged in hospital, August 10, '65 ; Alartin Larson, mustered out July 

14, '65. 

Company F: S. Anderson, mustered out July 14, '65 ; Josef Hansson, 
mustered out July 14, '65; John Jacobson, mustered out July 14, '65; 
Nils Larson, mustered out July 14, '65 ; John F. Simonson, died at Wash- 
ington, D. C, 1865. 

Company G: Peter Hanson, mustered out July 14, '65; J. Monson, 
mustered out July 14, '65 ; Adam Olson, mustered out July 14, '65. 

Company H: Erik Eriksson, mustered out July 14, '65; Andrew 
Johnson, mustered out May 16, '65; Abraham Johnson, mustered out 
July 14, '65 ; Paul Larson, mustered out July 14, '65. 

Company I: Hans Hanson, discharged per order; 01o£ Johnson, 
mustered out July 14, '65 ; Erik A. Nystedt, mustered out July 14, '65. 

The Second Infantry was organized July, 1861. Ordered to Louis- 
ville, Ky., October, 1861, and assigned to the Army of the Ohio. The 
following embraces a sketch of the marches, battles and skirmishes in 
which this regiment participated: Mill Spring, January 19, 1862; Siege 
of Corinth, April, 1862; transferred to the Army of the Tennessee. 
Bragg's Raid, Perryville, October 8, 1862 ; skirmishes of the Tullahoma 
campaign; Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, 1863; Mission Ridge, 
November 25, 1863. Veteranized January, 1864. Battles and skirmishes 
of the Atlanta campaign, viz.: Resaca, June 14, 15 and 16, 1864; Kene- 
saw Mountain, June 27, 1864; Jonesboro; Sherman's march through 
Georgia and the Carolinas ; Bentonville, Alarch 19, 1865. Discharged at 
Fort Snelling, July 11, 1865. 

Company C: Wm. J. Johnson, re-enlisted December 28, '63; shot 
himself in hand, wounded at Jonesboro, Ga. ; Daniel Lindquist, discharged 
per order June 15, '65, drafted; James Nelson, mustered out July 11, '65; 
Isak A. Peterson, drafted, discharged from hospital July, '65. 

Company D: Clias. Bloom, drafted, mustered out July 11, '65; 
Amos Hansson, discharged on expiration of term; Carl Hellstrom, 
drafted, mustered out July n, '65 ; Nils Hakanson, drafted, mustered out 
Julv II, "65; Charles E. Johnson, discharged on expiration of term. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 327 

July 4, '65; John A. Johnson, drafted, mustered out July 11, '65; Peter 
Johnson, drafted, mustered out July 11, '65; Martin Nelson, drafted, 
mustered out July 11, '65; Andrew Magnuson, drafted, discharged from 
hospital in '65; John Magnuson, drafted, mustered out July 11, '65; 
Matson-Videll, drafted, mustered out July 11, '65; John Nelson, drafted, 
mustered out July 11, '65; John A. Peterson, died at Atlanta, Ga., Octo- 
ber 16, '64; Peter Swenson, drafted, mustered out July 11, '65; Nils 
Swenson, drafted, mustered out July 11, '65; Andrew P. Wallmark, 
drafted, mustered out July 11, '65. 

Company E : Andrew Anderson, re-enlisted, promoted corporal, mus- 
tered out July 11, '65; Adolf Becklin, died at Washington, D. C, June 
27 , '65 ; S. A. Blomquist, discharged per order June 20, '65 ; Peter John- 
son, died at Cairo, Illinois, December 25, '64, drafted ; John Johnson, 
discharged per order June 9, '65, drafted; Erick Larson, died at Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, March 5, '63 ; Peter Peterson, wounded on picket duty 
at Chickamauga, October 12, died October 13, '63 ; Louis Swenson, 
wounded at Chickamauga, discharged on expiration of term, July 4, '64; 
A. E. Wickstrom, substitute, mustered out July 11, '65. 

Company F: Alexis Lindburg, discharged from hospital July 10, 
'65; Carl Lindegren, discharged from hospital July 27, '65, substitute; 
Charles D. Molin, died at Corinth, Mississippi, May 18, '62; Andrew 
Nelson, mustered out July 11, '65. 

Company G: John Beckman, died at Nashville, Tennessee, April 
11. '62; Andrev/ Hanson, drafted, mustered out July 11, '65; Paul Peter- 
son, discharged from hospital August 1, '65; Thomas Peterson, trans- 
ferred to Company I September 1, '61 ; Gustaf C. Rodell, promoted 
corporal, mustered out July 11, 'd'^.; Jonas Swenson, re-enlisted Decem- 
ber 26, '64, mustered out July 11, '65. 

Company H: Louis Erickson, mustered out July 11, '65; John 
Jacobson, substitute, mustered out July 11, '65; John Johnson, discharged 
per order May 29, '65 ; Louis Lindros, re-enlisted December 16, '63, 
discharged July 22, '65 — wounded at Chickamauga, special mention ; 
Peter Nelson, drafted, mustered out July 11, '65; John Peterson, drafted, 
mustered out July 11, '65. 

Company I : Charles J. Erickson, deserted October, '62, arrested 
March, '64, sentenced to make his time good ; John Holmstrom, drafted, 
discharged from hospital September 25, '65 ; John Johnson, drafted, mus- 
tered out July 11, '65; Frank E. Peterson, musician, died at Louisville, 



328 SWEDISH-AMERICAXS OF AIINNESOTA 

Kentucky, March 3, '62; Andrew Skon, transferred to Invalid Corps Sep- 
tember IZ, '63. 

Company K: Peter Erickson, discharged per order May 31, '65; 
Peter Johnson, drafted, discharged from hospital July, '65 ; Andrew 
Nelson, died February 8, '62 ; Kristian Olson, drafted, mustered out July 
11, '65 ; John M. Olson, re-enlisted December, '63, promoted corporal and 
sergeant. 

The Third Infantry. — Organized October, 1861. Ordered to Nash- 
ville, Tennessee, March, 1862. Captured and paroled at JNIurfreesboro, 
July, 1862. Ordered to St. Louis, Missouri, thence to Minnesota. En- 
gaged in the Indian expedition of 1862. Participated in the battle of 
Wood Lake, September, 1862. Ordered to Little Rock, Arkansas, Novem- 
ber, 1863. Veteranized January, 1864. Engaged in battle of Fitzhugh's 
Woods, March 30, 1864. Ordered to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, April, 1864, 
and from there to Du Vall's BlufT in October, 1864. Clustered out at 
Du Vall's Blufif, September 2, 1865. Discharged at Fort Snelling. 

Company B : John Anderson, re-enlisted, promoted corporal, mus- 
tered out September 2, '65 ; Anders Nilson Holm, promoted sergeant ; 
Lars Anderson, died at Little Rock, Arkansas, February 2, '65 ; Peter 
Brunell, re-enlisted February 2, '64, mustered out September 2, '65 ; Frank 
Brunell, re-enlisted February 2, '64, died at Prairie du Chien, December 
16, '64 ; August Gustafson, mustered out September 2, '65 ; John Johnson, 
re-enlisted February 2, '64; John Johnson, re-enlisted February 2, '64, 
both mustered out September 2, '65 ; Charles Johnson, re-enlisted Feb- 
ruary 2, '64, discharged per order May 30, '65 ; Lars Johnson, drafted, 
died at Pine Blufif, Arkansas, November 7, '64 ; John Larson, drafted, died 
at Little Rock, Arkansas, October 21, '64; John Lind, discharged per 
order July 28, '65 ; John Munson, died at Little Rock, Arkansas, Novem- 
ber 23, '64 ; Andrew Peterson, corporal, promoted sergeant, discharged 
on expiration of term, September 25, '64; James Peterson, discharged 
on expiration of term, November 15, '64; Gustaf Swanson, discharged 
for disability, January 10, '65. 

Company C: Wm. W. Anderson, mustered out September 2, '65; 
Chas. B. Hanson, corporal, promoted sergeant, died in hospital boat 
November 28, '63. 

Company D: Captains — Hans Mattson, major, May 29, '62; lieu- 
tenant-colonel, July 15, '63; colonel, April 27, '64, Hans Eustrom, sec- 
ond lieutenant, promoted first lieutenant ; captain, resigned August 2, '62, 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 329 

and John A. Vanstrum, first sergeant, promoted second lieutenant; first 
lieutenant; captain; promoted major, discharged with regiment. First 
Lieutenant John G. Gustafson, sergeant ; second lieutenant ; first lieuten- 
ant; lieutenant-colonel 112th U. S. C. I. November 16, '64. Second 
Lieutenants— Olof Liljegren, sergeant; promoted second lieutenant, died 
at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, September 25, '64, and Jonas Lindall, re-enlisted 
January 1, '64; promoted second lieutenant; promoted first lieutenant 
Company H, November 4, '61, discharged September 2, '64. 

The enlisted men were: Nels Abrahamson, re-enlisted February 3, 
'64, promoted corporal, mustered out September 2, '65 ; Chas. J. Anderson, 
re-enlisted February 3, '64, promoted corporal, mustered out September 

2, '65; Olof Anderson, corporal, re-enlisted February 3, '64, mustered 
out September 2, '65; John A. Anderson, discharged on expiration of 
term, November 4, '64 ; Gustavus Anderson, died at Fort Snelling, Feb- 
ruary 1, '63; G. Anderson, re-enlisted February 3, '64, died at Pine Bluff 
September 14, '64; Peter Anderson, discharged per order July 28, '65; 
Jonas Berg, died at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, October 15, '63; Erik 
Berglund, discharged per order July 21, '65 ; John Bloomberg, discharged 
per order July 28, '65; Chas. E. Bolander, promoted hospital steward 
June 13, '64; Elias Bong, died November 9, '64; Frank A. Carlson, 
mustered out Septemebr 2, '65; John Cedergren, re-enlisted February 

3. '64; promoted sergeant, mustered out September 2, '65; Charlson, 
Carl R., re-enlisted January 1, '65; John Charlson, discharged per order 
July 28, '65; Swan Dahlberg, discharged per order July 28, '65; John 
Erickson, re-enlisted February 11, '62, mustered out September 2, '65; 
John Erickson, died at Belmont, Kentucky, February 26, '62; Charles 
Erickson, re-enlisted January 4, '64, mustered out September 2, '65 ; John 
Erickson, discharged per order July 28, '65 ; Olof Falin, corporal, dis- 
charged for disability March 29, '62; Peter Frojd, discharged for disa- 
bility March 15, '62; Gustaf Glader, corporal, promoted sergeant, dis- 
charged on expiration of term, November 14, '64; Peter Goranson, trans- 
ferred to Veteran Reserve Corps April 28, '65; August L. Green, pro- 
moted corporal, re-enlisted January 1, '64, discharged December 26, '64; 
Charles Gustafson, died at Duvall's Bluff, Arkansas, December 9, '65; 
Alfred Hultman, died at Duvall's Bluff, Arkansas, December 14. '64; 
John P. Hultquist, discharged per order July 28, '65 ; Nils B. Johnson, 
promoted sergeant, re-enlisted February 2, '64, promoted first lieutenant 
Company I, July 28, '65 ; Erick Johnson, mustered out September 2, '65 ; 



330 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Ake Johnson, discharged per order July 28, '65 ; John A. Johnson, died 
at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, September 17, "64; Nils L. Linderoot, re-enlisted 
January 1, '64, promoted corporal and sergeant, mustered out September 
2, '65; Erik Ljunglof,' died at Fort Snelling, November 23, '62; Claus 
Lind, died at Red Wing, October 15, '62; Jonas Lind, discharged for 
disability January 14, '65 ; John Lindblom, discharged per order July 28, 
'65; Peter Lundberg, re-enlisted January 1, '64, promoted sergeant; 
Peter G. Lundberg, transferred to Invalid Corps October 3, '63 ; John 
iMelander, died at Mound City, Illinois, August 1, '63; John Nelson, 
re-enlisted January 1, '64, promoted corporal, died at Cairo, Illinois, Jan- 
uary 1, '65; Gustaf Nelson, discharged for disability July 5, '62; John 
Nord, mustered out September 2, '65 ; Louis Norelius, mustered out Sep- 
tember 2, '65 ; John P. Ofelt, corporal, re-enlisted February 3, '64, died 
at Duvall's Bluff December 31, '64; Bonde Olson, promoted corporal, 
re-enlisted January 1, '64, promoted first lieutenant Company K, October 
1, '64; Henrik Peterson, corporal, promoted sergeant, discharged on ex- 
piration of term, November 14, '64; Chas, J. Peterson, discharged per 
order May 22, '65 ; Nils P. Peterson, discharged per order July 28, '65 ; 
Charles P. Quist, re-enlisted January 1, '64. promoted corporal; Magnus 
Quist, mustered out September 2, '65 ; Nils Ringdahl. re-enlisted January 
1, '64; mustered out September 2, '65; Carl Roos, discharged for disa- 
bility December 2, '63 ; Peter !\I. Sandberg, discharged on expiration of 
term, November 14, '64 ; Frithiof T. Sandberg, promoted sergeant, dis- 
charged for disability July 5, '62; Swan Salomonson, died at Jefferson 
Barracks, Missouri, October 26, '64 ; Charles P. Sjoberg, re-enlisted 
January 1, '64, discharged from hospital September 14, '65; Nils O. 
Skoog, discharged on expiration of term, November 12, '64 ; Peter Soder- 
strom, discharged per order July 28. '65 ; Chas. J. Strand, re-enlisted 
January 1, '64, promoted corporal and sergeant; Chas. Sundahl, died 
at Sauk Centre, Minnesota, October 20, '62; John Sundblad, transferred 
to Invalid Corps October 1. '63; Gustaf Svenson, discharged on expira- 
tion of term, November 14, '64; John Swanson, died at ^Memphis, 
Tennessee, September 12, '63 ; John P. Thelander, re-enlisted January 1, 
'64, mustered out September 2, '65; Chas. J. Vaden, discharged per order 
July 28, '65 ; John P. \'iden, died at Memphis, Tennessee, October 31, 
'63 ; Charles Wiberg, discharged on expiration of term, November 14, '64. 
Company F: Andrew Ericson. re-enlisted December 20. '63, mus- 
tered out September 2, '65 ; John Johnson, discharged for disability May 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 331 

9, '63 ; Fredrik Rabom, mustered out September 2, '65 ; Daniel W. Wil- 
liamson, re-enlisted December 20, '6^, promoted corporal and sergeant. 

Company G: Erik Peterson, died at Murfreesboro, June 30, '62. — 
Company H : Gustaf Granstrand, mustered out September 2, '65 ; Peter 
L. Mobeck, died October 17, '64; Victor Peterson, mustered out Novem- 
ber 14, '64; Charles L. Tidlund, discharged for disability. 

The Fourth Infantry. — Organized December 23, 1861. Ordered 
to Benton Barracks, Missouri, April 19, 1862. Assigned to Army of the 
Mississippi, May 4, 1862. Participated in the following battles, sieges 
and skirmishes: Siege of Corinth, April, 1862; luka, September 19, 
1862 ; Corinth, October 3 and 4, 1862 ; Siege of Vicksburg, Raymond, 
Jackson, Champion Hill, assault of Vicksburg, capture of Vicksburg, 
July 4, 1863; transferred from 17th corps to 15th corps, Mission Ridge, 
November 25, 1863. Veteranized January, 1864. Allatoona, July, 1864; 
Sherman's march through Georgia and the Carolinas ; Bentonsville, March 
20, 1865. Mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, July 19, 1865. Dis- 
charged at Fort Snelling. 

Company A : Andrew Anderson, corporal, discharged for disability, 
April '63 ; Thomas Anderson, discharged for disability, December 27, 
'62; John Anderson, re-enlisted January i, '64; mustered out July 19, 
'65; Peter G. Anderson, discharged per order, June 12, '65; Swan Bengt- 
son, discharged per order, June 12, '65 ; Otto Broberg, discharged per 
order, January 12, '65 ; Henry Erickson, re-enlisted March 7, '64, pro- 
moted corporal and sergeant; John Ericson, discharged per order. May 
30, '65 ; Chas. E. Flodeen, re-enHsted December 31, '63, promoted corporal 
and sergeant; Chas. F. Hellberg, re-enlisted January 17, '64, mustered 
out July 29, '65 ; John Johnson, transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, 
February, '64; John Johnson, re-enlisted February 29, '64, promoted 
corporal; Nels P. Peterson, discharged for disability, December 31, '62; 
John Peterson, died August 31, '63 ; Swan Peterson, discharged per order, 
June 20, '65 ; Andrew Swanberg, discharged per order, ]May 26, '65 ; 
John Swanson, drafted, mustered out July 19, '65. 

Company B : Theodore Anderson, drafted, mustered out July 19, 
'65 ; John Chindblom, mustered out December, '64 ; Jonas Johnson, pro- 
moted corporal and sergeant, discharged for disability July 18, '64; 
Albert Johnson, mustered out April 21, '65; Swan Swanburg, discharged 
for disability, August 6, '62. 



Z32 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

Company C: John Linn, drafted, mustered out July 19, '65; M. I. 
Mattson, substitute, mustered out July 19, '65. 

Company D: George W. Anderson, substitute, mustered out July 
19, '65 ; John Danielson, substitute, George Davidson, substitute, George 
Johnson, substitute, all mustered out June 12, '65. 

Company F: Andrew Lundquist, re-enlisted January 1, '64, mustered 
out July 19, '65 ; Christopher Lind, drafted, mustered out July 19, '65 ; 
Andrew Peterson, drafted, served only four months. 

Company G: Peter Dahlstrom, mustered out June 12, '65; Charles 
Ekdahl, mustered out June 12, '65 ; John Erickson, mustered out June 12, 
'65; John Johnson, drafted; Chas. Kilberg, drafted; Gustaf Nelson, 
drafted ; John Peterson, drafted ; Peter Rattig, substitute, all mustered out 
July 19, '65 ; Lars Swanson, drafted, mustered out September 16, '65. 

Company H : John Bengtson, drafted, transferred from Company I, 
September 1, '64; Louis Danielson, mustered out June 12, '65; Gustaf 
Johnson, discharged for disability, August 24, '63 ; Alans Johnson, mus- 
tered out June 12, '65 ; Andrew Johnson, mustered out June 12, '65 ; 
James A. Johnson, substitute, mustered out July 19, '65 ; Mans Peterson, 
mustered out June 12, '65 ; Mans Peterson, discharged from hospital May 
22, '65 ; Hans Samuelson, mustered out June 12, '65 ; Peter Silen, per 
order, mustered out June 12, '65 ; Peter Sjolin, mustered out May 22, '65 ; 
Aug. Swanson, corporal, died in hospital at Big Springs, Mississippi, 
August 3, '62 ; Andrew Swanson, mustered out per order, June 12, '65 ; 
John Sahlstrum, re-enlisted January 1, '64, discharged for disability, 
June 28, '65; John Tonggren, transferred, September 15, '62, to Invalid 
Corps ; Henry Wassman, mustered out June 12, '65. 

Company I: John Bengtson, drafted, transferred to Company H, 
September 1, '64; Chas. P. Hagstrom, died September 2, '63, at Cairo, 
Illinois; George Lind, died June 28, '62, at Farmington, Mississippi; 
Nels Nelson, died July 12, '62, at Farmington, Mississippi. 

Company K: John Akeson, drafted, per order, mustered out June 
26, '65 ; Henry Anderson, drafted, mustered out July 19, '65 ; Henry 
Beckman, drafted, mustered out July 19, '65 ; Magnus Erickson, substi- 
tute, mustered out per order, June 12, '65 ; Nels Johnson, drafted, mus- 
tered out July 19, '65 ; Nils Linderholm, drafted, mustered out July 19, 
'65; Wm. Monson, discharged for disability, October, '63; Matts Peter- 
son, drafted, mustered out June 23, '65. 

The Fifth Infantry. — Organized in May, 1862. Ordered to 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 333 

Pittsburg Landing, May 9, 1862. A detachment of three companies 
remained in Minnesota, garrisoning frontier posts. Participated in the 
following marches, battles, sieges and skirmishes : Siege of Corinth, 
April and May, 1862, The detachment in Minnesota engaged in battle 
with Indians at Redwood, Minnesota, August 18, 1862. Siege of Fort 
Ridgely, August 20, 21 and 22, 1862; Fort Abercrombie, Dakota Ter- 
ritory, August, 1862. Regiment assigned to 16th Army Corps. En- 
gaged in the battles of luka, September 18, 1862 ; Corinth, October 3 and 
4, 1862; Jackson, Tennessee, May 14, 1863. Siege of Vicksburg; assault 
of Vicksburg, May 22, 1863. Mechanicsburg, June 3, 1863. Richmond, 
June 15. 1863. Fort De Russey, Louisiana, March 14, 1864. Red River 
expedition, March, April and May, 1864. Lake Chicat, June 6, 1864. 
Tupelo, June, 1864. Veteranized July, 1864. Abbeyville, August 23, 
1864. Marched in September, 1864, from Brownsville, Arkansas, to 
Cape Girardeau, Alissouri, thence by boat to Jefferson City; thence to 
Kansas State line; thence to St. Louis, Missouri. Ordered to Nashville, 
Tennessee, November, 1864. Engaged in battles at Nashville, December 
15 and 16, 1864; Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, April, 1865. Mustered 
out at Demopolis, Alabama, September 6, 1865. Discharged at Fort 
SnelHng. 

Company A : Peter C. Anderson, mustered out September 6, '65 ; 
Carl Hanson, veteran, promoted corporal, sergeant, mustered out Sep- 
tember 6, '65 ; Frank Johnson, wounded at Corinth, October 4, '62, dis- 
charged for disability. 

Company B : John Peterson, mustered out September 6, '65 ; Oscar 
Wall, discharged for disability, August 29, '62. 

Company C : Edward Berg, mustered out February 23, '65 ; Andrew 
Peterson, veteran, died of wounds April 3, '65, received at Spanish Fort; 
Chas. A. Rose, veteran, promoted corporal, sergeant. 

Company D : Nils Roberg, killed at Nashville, December 16, '64. 

Company E: John Peterson, discharged for disability, March 18, 
'63. 

Company F: G. W. Johnson, enlisted January 24, '62, first sergeant 
April 25, '62, resigned May 28, '65 ; John Johnson, died June 2, '63, at 
Duckport, Louisiana ; Andrew Israelson, veteran, killed at Abbeyville. 
Mississippi, August 24, '64. 

Company G: Henry Anderson, died October 12, '63, at Vicksburg, 
Mississippi; Simon Janson, mustered out September 6, '65; Henry T. 



334 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF :\IINNESOTA 

Johnson, veteran, promoted corporal, sergeant, wounded at Nashville; 
Peter Peterson, died January 1, '63, at ^Memphis, Tennessee; John J. 
Peterson, died July 16, '63, at Vicksburg. 

Company H: N. Anderson, veteran, captured near Eastport, dis- 
charged per order, August 3, '65 ; Chas. A. Erickson, veteran, wounded 
at Nashville, discharged from hospital; John Johnson, died October 13, 
'63, at Memphis, Tennessee ; Christian Ludvigson, veteran, mustered out 
September 6, '65 ; Martin Martenson. discharged for disability. 

Company I : Alexander M. Johnson, died July 10, '62, at Clear 
Creek, Mississippi; Daniel Skarin, wounded at Nashville, December 
16, '64. 

Company K: Andrew Larson, promoted sergeant, mustered out 
September 6, '65. 

The Sixth Infantry. — Organized August, 1862, and ordered on 
the expedition against the Indians. Detachment of 200 engaged in battle 
at Birch Cooley, September 2, 1862. The regiment participated in the 
battle at Wood Lake, September 22, 1862, and garrisoned frontier posts 
from November, 1862, until May, "1863, when ordered upon Indian ex- 
pedition; engaged with Indians July 24, 26 and 28, 1863. Stationed at 
frontier posts from September 18, 1863, to June 5, 1864, when ordered 
to Helena, Arkansas. Ordered to St. Louis, ]\Iissouri, November, 1864, 
to New Orleans, January, 1865. Assigned to the 16th Army Corps. 
Participated in engagements of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, April, 
1865. Discharged at Fort Snelling, August 19, 1865. 

Company A : Erick A. Erickson, mustered out August 19, '65 ; 
Andrew G. Hillberg, discharged for disability; Swan Lindstrom, died 
October 18, '64, at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. 

Company B: Louis C. Johnson, discharged for disability, Alarch 
24, '64; John Johnson, mustered out August 29, '65; Louis Peterson, 
discharged for disability, February 16, '65. 

Company C: John Johnson, enlisted July 16, '62, transferred to 
Veteran Reserve Corps, March 7, '64; John Johnson, enlisted July 29, 
'62, transferred to 3rd Minnesota Battery, May 3, '63 ; Peter T. Nordin, 
sergeant, transferred to 3rd Minnesota Battery, May 1, '63; Charles 
Peterson, sick at St. Louis on discharge of regiment ; Gustaf Sandberg, 
mustered out August 19, '65. 

Company D : Chas. W. Johnson, mustered out Aug. 19, '65 ; Edwin 
Jackson, mustered out August 19, '65. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 335 

Company F: Andrew J. Johnson, corporal, promoted sergeant; 
Gustaf Johnson, mustered out August 19, '65 ; Nils P. Alalmborg, mus- 
tered out August 19, '65 ; Gudmund Naskmd, died September 22, '64, at 
IMemphis ; Nicolaus S. Ahlstrom, died September 28, '64, at Jefferson 
Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri; Bert E. Olin, mustered out August 19, '65. 

Company G: Andrew P. Carlson, mustered out August 19, '65; 
Andrew Johnson, discharged for disability, May 8, '63. 

Company H: Chas. I. Johnson, mustered out August 19, '65. 

Company I : Peter H. Anderson, discharged on habeas corpus, 
March 30, '63, consent of parents forged ; Hugo Anderson, discharged for 
disability, March 31, '63; Adolph Carlson, discharged August 19, '65: 
John Carlson, died September 3, '64, at Memphis; Erik Erikson, dis- 
charged for disability, April 22, '63 ; Peter A. Lundgren, corporal, dis- 
charged per order. May 18, '65; Andrew Manson, mustered out August 
I9j '65 ; John Nelson and John A. Nelson, mustered out August 19, '65 ; 
John W. Peterson, corporal, promoted sergeant ; John Peterson, drowned 
July 29, '64, at Helena, Arkansas ; Tufve Trulsson, discharged for dis- 
ability, November 6, '63. 

Company K: Peter Anderson, mustered out August 19, '65. 

The Seventh Infantry. — Organized in August 1862, and ordered 
on expedition against the Indians. Engaged in battle of Wood Lake, 
September 22, 1862. Stationed at frontier posts until May, 1863, when 
again ordered on an Indian expedition. Engaged with Indians July 24, 
26 and 28, 1863. Ordered to St. Louis, Missouri, October 7, 1863; 
thence to Paducah, Kentucky, April, 1864; thence to Memphis, Tennessee, 
and assigned to i6th Army Corps, June, 1864. Participated in the fol- 
lowing marches, battles, sieges and skirmishes: Tupelo, Julv, 1864; 
Tallahatchie, August 7 and 8, 1864. Marched in pursuit of Price from 
Brownsville, Arkansas, to Cape Girardeau, thence by boat to Jefferson 
City; thence to Kansas line; thence to St. Louis, Missouri. Battles of 
Nashville, Tennessee, December 15 and 16, 1864; Spanish Fort and Fort 
Blakely, April, 1865. Discharged at Fort Snelling, August 16, 1865. 

Company A: Chas. T. Anderson, sergeant, mustered out August 
16, '65 ; Isak Johnson, discharged for disability. May 9, '64. 

Company C : Andrew Agren, wounded at Spanish Fort, lost left leg, 
absent on discharge of regiment ; Peter Anderson, corporal, wounded at 
Tupelo, died October 8, '64, at St. Louis, Mo. ; John Anderson, discharged 
for disability, March 25, '63 ; Swan Anderson, died November 5, '64, at 



336 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

:\Iemphis, Tennessee; Carl Anderson, died July 2"^, '64, at :\Iemphis, 
Tennessee; Andrew P. Anderson, mustered out August 16, '65; John 
C. Carlson, mustered out August 16, '65; Frank Carlson, John Carlson, 
mustered out August 16, '65 ; Peter J. Carlson, died September 17, '64, 
at Memphis ; Peter Charlson, mustered out August 16, '65 ; Andrew 
Dahlstrom, died September 9, '64, at Memphis ; Erik Erikson, discharged 
in hospital ; John Elmquist, mustered out August 16, '65 ; Daniel Fredin, 
transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps; Carl Glader, promoted corporal, 
mustered out August 16, '65 ; John S. Johnson, promoted corporal, ser- 
geant, mustered out August 16, '65 ; Carl Johnson, Peter Johnson, Mans 
Johnson and Peter H. Johnson were mustered out with regiment; Olof 
M. Linnell, discharged for disability ; John Lonquist, mustered out August 
16, '65 ; Israel Magnusson, mustered out August 16, '65 ; Magnus Manson, 
died May 3, '65, at Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Daniel Nelson, discharged 
from hospital ; Sven Nilson, died October 23, '64, at Memphis, Tennessee ; 
Nils Nilson, died July 13, '65, at Selma, Alabama; John Nilson, pro- 
moted corporal; John Olson, absent on discharge of regiment; supposed 
to have been discharged ; Henrik Astrand, died October 16, '64, at Mem- 
phis, Tennessee; John Palm, died October 21, '64, at Little Rock, Arkan- 
sas; Albert Pehrson, died June 22, '64, at Paducah, Kentucky; Gust 
Peterson, discharged for disability, October 28, '64; Magnus Peterson, 
died November 22, '64, at St. Louis, Missouri; Charles Peterson, died 
March 26, '65, at New Orleans, Louisiana; Nils Rosengren, Jr., mus- 
tered out August 16, '65 ; Nils Rabom, discharged for disability, Novem- 
ber 4, '64; Carl Zakrison, transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, April 
1, '65; Alfred Sherquist, corporal, died June 29, '64, at Paducah, Ken- 
tucky; Olof A. Strom, discharged from hospital; John S. Svenson, dis- 
charged for disabihty; Peter A. Strand, mustered out, August 16, '65; 
Fredrik Tang, mustered out, August 16, '65. 

Company D : John Bolin, killed July 14, '64, at Tupelo ; Henry T. 
Hysell, refused to muster, arrested and returned to company, j\Iay 23, 
'64, discharged per order. May 4, '65 ; Elmer D. Hysell, refused to muster. 

Company E: Daniel Hall, Mans Hanson, John Jakobson, mustered 
out August 16, '65 ; Lars Johnson, killed July 14, '64, at Tupelo ; Peter 
Peterson, died January 1, '64, at St. Louis, Missouri; Jakob A. Rose, 
wagoner, discharged from hospital August 7, '65, at New Orleans, 
Louisiana. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 337 

Company F: Edward L. Johnson, discharged for disability, March 
14, '63 ; John Mervin, discharged for disability, June 2, '65. 

Company G: Andrew Anderson, mustered out May 31, '65; Frank 
Bergman, discharged for warrant of habeas corpus, November, '64; 
Peter Engberg, discharged for disability, June 5, '65 ; Peter Johnson, 
promoted corporal, June 8, '65 ; John Monson, promoted corporal ; Erik 
Olson, mustered out August 16, '65 ; Peter Peterson, mustered out August 
16, '65 ; Chas. J. Sundell, died August 17, '64, at Memphis. 

Company H : Hans Hanson, corporal, promoted sergeant. 

Company K: Charles Johnson, discharged for disability. May 13, 
'64; Edward L. Johnson, promoted sergeant, died July 26, '64. 

The Eighth Infantry. — Organized August 1, 1862. Stationed at 
frontier posts until May, 1864, when ordered upon Indian expedition. 
Engaged in the following battles, sieges, skirmishes and marches : 
Tat-cha-o-ku-tu, July 28, 1864; battle of the Cedars and Overall's Creek. 
Ordered to Clifton, Tennessee; thence to Cincinnati, Ohio; thence to 
Washington, thence to Wilmington ; thence to Newberry, North Carolina. 
Battles of Kingston, March 8, 9 and 10, 1865. Mustered out at Charlotte, 
North Carolina, July 11, 1865. Discharged at Fort Snelling. 

Company C: Frank T. Johnson, corporal, mustered out July 11, 
'65; Peter Johnson, mustered out July 11, '65; John Peterson, mustered 
out July 11, '65. 

Company I: Mans Carlson, discharged for disability, January 14, 
'63 ; Gustaf Erickson, mustered out July 11, '65 ; Georg W, Johnson, died 
September 25, '62, at Fort Rice, Dakota Territory. 

The Ninth Infantry. — This regiment was organized in August, 
1862. It was stationed at frontier posts until September, 1863, when it 
was ordered to St. Louis, Missouri. Ordered to Jefferson City, Missouri, 
and distributed among several posts in the interior of the state. Ordered 
to St. Louis in May, 1864; thence to Memphis, Tennessee. Engaged 
in the following marches, battles, sieges and skirmishes: Guntown expe- 
dition in June, 1864; assigned to the 16th army corps the same month ; at 
the battle of Tupelo, July 13, 1864; Oxford expedition in August, 1864; 
Tallahatchie, August, 1864; march in pursuit of Price from Brownsville, 
Arkansas, to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, thence by boat to Jefiferson City, 
Missouri, thence to Kansas State line, thence to St. Louis. Battles of 
Nashville, Tennessee, December 15 and 16, 1864; Spanish Fort and Fort 
Blakely, in April, 1865 ; discharged at Fort Snelling, August 24, 1865. 



338 SW'EDISH-AMERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

The Tenth Infantry. — Organized in August, 1862; stationed at 
frontier posts until June, 1863, when ordered upon Indian expedition ; en- 
gaged with Indians. July 24, 26 and 28. 1863. Ordered to St. Louis, 
Missouri, October, 1863; thence to Columbus, Kentucky, April, 1864; 
thence to Memphis. Tennessee, June. 1864, and assigned to the 16th army 
corps. Participated in the following battles, marches, sieges and skir- 
mishes: Battle of Tupelo, July 13, '65; Oxford expedition, August, 
1864; marched in pursuit of Price from Brownsville, Arkansas, to Cape 
Girardeau, Missouri ; thence by boat to Jefferson City ; thence to Kansas 
State line ; thence to St. Louis, Missouri. Battles of Nashville, Tennes- 
see, December 15 and 16, '64; Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, April, 
1865. Discharged at Fort Snelling, August 19, '65. 

Company B: Peter Anderson, died February 15, '65, at Vicksburg; 
Isak Johnson, transferred to Company I, April 11, '64; Jacob Larson, 
mustered out August 19, '65. 

Company C: Peter Erikson, mustered out August 19, '65; Albert 
Lindstrand, mustered out August 21, '65; John Nelson, discharged for 
disability. 

Company D: Nels Johnson, at draft rendezvous. Fort Snelling; 
mustered out May 11, '65; Charles Nelson, mustered out May 22, '65; 
Mans Olson, mustered out August 19, '65. 

Company E: Andrew Anderson, died November 3, '62, at Fort 
Snelling; Daniel Anderson, promoted corporal, discharged per order, 
July 10, '65 ; Nils Peterson, mustered out, August 19, '65 ; Charles Peter- 
son, discharged for disability, January 29, '65. 

Company F: Georg Callander, transferred to Company I, April 4, 
'64; Chas. W. Johnson, mustered out, May 16, '65. 

The Eleventh Infantry.— Organized August, 1864. Ordered to 
Nashville, Tennessee; engaged in guarding railroad between Nashville 
and Louisville, until muster out of regiment, June 26, 1865. 

Company A : Erik P. Anderson, Frank Anderson, John Anderson, 
Samuel Arvidson, August Johanson, Jakob Mattson, Jonas Erickson. Cor- 
poral Johan Holm, Johan Asborg and Swan Swanson enlisted August 
24, '64, and were mustered out June 26, '65. 

Company E: Erik Abrahamson, mustered out June 26, '65; Ake S. 
Dahlberg, John Erickson, Peter Hammarlund, Henry Johnson, Alexander 
Lawson, Nils Lindberg, Andrew J. Lundgren, John Magnuson, Peter 



SWEDISH-"A.MERICANS OF MINNESOTA 339 

J. Nelson, John Ryden and Christian Stahlberg enHsted August 23, '64, 
and mustered out June 26, '65. 

Company G: John Artig, John Johnson and Charles Johnson were 
mustered out June 26, '65. 

Company K: John G. Johnson, John Olson and Charles L. Torn- 
quist enlisted August 27, '64, and mustered out June 26, '65. 

The Second Company of Minnesota Sharpshooters: Truls Fingal- 
son, discharged for disability, October 4, '63 ; Fingal Fingalson, wounded 
at Hanover Court House, May 27, '62, and again at Antietam, September 
17, '62; re-enlisted March 31, '64; Christopher Hanson, wounded by acci- 
dental discharge of his own rifle, discharged for disability, October 8, 
'62; Christen J. Lind, wounded at Fair Oaks, Virginia, June 1, '62, lost 
a finger, discharged for disability, October 10, '62; Charles T. Wid- 
strand, wounded severely in thigh at Antietam, Virginia, September 
17, '62. 

Besides there were undoubtedly several Swedes from Minnesota 
who served in some regular regiments of the United States army. We 
know one, P. P. Swensen. who served in U. S. Sixteenth Infantry, partic- 
ipated in more than thirty battles and skirmishes, and was wounded 
twice in the battle of Stone River, Tennessee. 



CHAPTER XVII. 
SIOUX WAR OF 1862. 

The Sioux War of 1862, with its attendant massacres, constitutes 
one of the most terrible incidents of the Civil war, especially to the 
Scandinavian settlers of Minnesota. One of the most complete and 
graphic accounts w-as prepared by Captain Colin F. MacDonald, of St. 
Cloud, who served in the campaigns against the Sioux, and was pre- 
sented as a paper, at a recent meeting of the Minnesota Commandery 
of the Loyal Legion. It is as follows : 

"The opinion was general in the northern states that President Lin- 
coln's call of May 2, 1861, for 500,000 volunteers, under which 700,680 
were enlisted, would furnish all the troops necessary to put down the 
rebellion in the southern states. When, therefore, on July 2, 1862, four- 
teen months later, he issued a call for 300,000 men for three years, or 
during the war, and a month later, August 4, 1862, followed this with 
another call for 300,000 more, the loyal people of the nation were startled 
into a sudden realization of the fact that the war which they first thought 
might end in ninety days, and later that it would surely close in a year, 
was far from a successful termination ; indeed, the future looked dark 
and discouraging, rendered doubly so by the more or less unsatisfactory 
results in the field. But, though startled, the northern people were not 
disheartened nor dismayed. On the contrary, the determination that the 
Union should be preserved intact received added force. At once there 
sounded another "drumbeat of the nation." The beacon lights of 
patriotism again shone forth from the hills of New England; the fires 
of loyalty spread over the middle states ; the flames swept westward 
over the praries of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, up into the pine 
forests of Michigan and Wisconsin, and finally reached the North Star 
state — the infant member of the Union family — and upon every breeze 
could be heard the grand chorus : 

'We are coming, Father Abraham, 
Six hundred thousand more !' 
340 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 341 

"There was a diflference in popular feeling in July and August, 1862, 
from that which existed in the first month of the war. In May, 1861, 
the contest was regarded as one which would be of short duration— in 
1862 the conviction was forced upon the north that a long and desperate 
struggle was before the nation, and the people rushed to arms resolved 
that^the Union should be preserved no matter what the cost in time, 
treasure and blood. Determination was intense. Enthusiasm was un- 
bounded. Union meetings were in progress day and night, at which elo- 
quent and stirring addresses were delivered ; war songs were sung ; the 
sound of fife and drum resounded everywhere, and the cheers of men 
marching to the places of rendezvous filled the air. This is a truthful 
portrayal of the scene throughout all the northern states in July and 
August, 1862. It was the north's response to President Lincoln's appeal. 
"When the war broke out Minnesota had but recently been ad- 
mitted to the Union, and the pioneers of territorial days were engaged 
in laying a foundation upon which they hoped to build up a state which 
would be worthy of a place among her sisters. But, when the booming 
of Treason's gun rolled up from Charleston harbor, we dropped the im- 
plements of peace, and took up the weapons of war, and for four years 
there was no further thought of state-building. When those four years 
of strife, of blood and of courage had passed, when the Union armies 
had marched down Pennsylvania avenue and quietly disappeared into 
the walks of peaceful life, presenting the most marvelous sight in all 
the world's history— that of more than a million of victorious battle- 
scarred soldiers laying down their arms and modestly returning to the 
peaceful duties of private life, when all this had passed, then we again 
took up the work of state-building. Many of you, then young men just 
leaving the army, turned your steps hither to seek your fortunes in the 
northwest, others of you came in later years, and together we have 
erected upon the foundation laid by the pioneers of fifty years ago the 
superstructure of a prosperous, rich and great commonwealth, one of 
which we are all justly proud, and which is so well typified by the mag- 
nificent capitol building which stands in the city of St. Paul. 

"Minnesota's response in 1862, as in all the years of the war, was 
equal to that of any state in the Union, in proportion to population, and 
we, soldiers of Minnesota, experience a pride in the knowledge^ that you, 
veterans from other commonwealths, may well feel a gratification in the 



342 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

thought that your adopted state did its full duty in the days when we all 
battled in defence of the integrity of the republic. 

"In August, 1862, I was a resident of Shakopee, in the Minnesota 
river valley, and was between 18 and 19 years of age. Immediately fol- 
lowing the promulgation of President Lincoln's call of July 2 the work 
of enlisting men, enrolling companies and sending them to Fort Snelling 
began. Soon wagonload after wagonload of volunteers passed down the 
valley through our little city, all singing, cheering, beating drums, wav- 
ing 'Old Glory,' and giving vent to their enthusiasm in every possible 
manner. We had no railroads in those early days, and only an occasional 
steamboat. At this period the ^Minnesota valley was one of the most 
thickly populated portions of our young state, and down it flowed a steady 
stream of enthusiastic volunteers. 

"Horace B. Strait, after the war and for several terms a congress- 
man from this state, was enlisting a company at Shakopee, and I was 
very anxious to join it, but, being a minor, a parent's or guardian's con- 
sent was required. My father was then a resident of Illinois, and to 
overcome the obstacle, I procured the appointment of Captain Strait as 
guardian and he kindly consented to my joining his company. I then 
laid down the printer's 'stick' and rule, took up the soldier's musket 
and cartridge box, and for three years marched to the music of the 
Union. 

"About noon of the 19th of August, a courier at rapid speed rode 
into Shakopee, his horse winded and covered with foam. A young sol- 
dier sprang from the steed in front of the little hotel, called for a fresh 
horse and announced that he was the bearer of important dispatches 
from Fort Ridgley to Governor Ramsey at St. Paul. He further said 
that the Sioux Indians under Little Crow had attacked the Lower Sioux 
Agency ; that they had killed nearly all of the whites ; that they had am- 
bushed and slaughtered Captain John S. Marsh and forty-six men of 
Company B of the Fifth Alinnesota at Red Wood Ferry; that war par- 
ties of Indians had scattered over the surrounding region, murdering 
the settlers, burning their homes and laying waste the country ; that the 
settlers were flocking into Fort Ridgley, and that Lieutenant Thomas 
P. Geere, with twenty-nine soldiers, was the only military force to de- 
defend it. Lieutenant Geere had sent him the previous night with instruc- 
tions to ride hard and fast. A fresh horse was soon brought forth, the 
courier sprang into the saddle and disappeared down the street, a scene 



SVVEDISH-AMERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 343 

that recalled Paul Revere's ride from Boston to Concord, to arouse the 
colonists, on that memorable night of April 18, 1775. 

'A hurry of hoofs in a village street, 

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark. 

And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark 

Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet ; 

That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light. 

The fate of a nation was riding that night!' 

"Longfellow had immortalized Paul Revere's ride, which doubters 
have termed a poet's creation. It yet remains for a poetic pen to pay 
suitable and merited tribute to the midnight ride of Private William J. 
Sturgis, of Company B, Fifth IMinnesota, who, stealing out from the 
fort in the darkness, and eluding the prowling savages, rode down the 
Minnesota valley to Fort Snelling — 120 miles in eighteen hours. Cer- 
tainly that was a strenuous reality, and 

All through the gloom and the light 

The fate of a thousand Minnesotans was riding that night. 

"Sturgis reached St. Peter at 3 a. m. His startling information 
sent the Renville rangers hurrying back to Ridgley ; in a few hours 
Judge Flandrau was hastening to New Ulm with 116 men; messengers 
were started out in all directions to warn the settlers, while Sturgis 
rode on, on, on down the valley, spreading the alarm, and urging on his 
steed. At times he had difficulty in securing fresh horses, sometimes 
resorting to threats, invoking the authority of the government, or ex- 
hibiting his revolver. His iron will was nerved by the thought of the 
horrors he knew were then occurring near Ridgley, and he was intent 
upon carrying out the orders of his young commander. He finally 
reached Fort Snelling at 3 p. m. and fortunately found Governor Ram- 
sey there. The ride of Private Sturgis was on^ of the most heroic of 
the many deeds of individual heroism of our four years' war ; but, in 
those days of whirlwind excitement and momentous events it was never 
noticed nor recognized. He served with his regiment in the south imtil 
the end of the war ; afterwards journeyed out to the Rocky ^Mountain 
region, and died there in 1907, an humble farmer. 



344 SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

"To those at that date acquainted with the situation at the Upper 
and Lower Sioux agencies, and who knew of the intense dissatisfaction 
existing among the Indians, the starthng intelligence brought by Sturgis 
was not a great surprise. This dissatisfaction was in part due to an in- 
herent and predisposed hostility to the whites who had occupied their 
hunting grounds, once abounding in game. It had been increased and 
aggravated by the dishonest manner in which they had been treated, 
in some cases by government officials, but more often by traders, who 
seemed to have the support and backing of the agents in enforcing col- 
lections, whether honest or dishonest, and usually they were the latter. 
Goods were sold to the Indians at enormous prices, often on credit, and 
when the annuities were distributed, the trader stood at the table and v/as 
paid by the agent or superintendent, oftentimes against protests that 
the account was false and fraudulent. Pioneers will recall that the 'In- 
dian payments,' so-called, were occasions for the general flocking of a 
certain class to the agencies, all intent upon getting the Indians' money 
away from them. Gamblers found these times a rich harvest, for the 
Indian loved to gamble, and in a few days the red man had lost his 
little annuity payment. 

"Many treaty stipulations were never carried out. Enormous claims 
were put in by traders and others against the sum agreed to be paid 
under these treaties, sometimes swallowing up the entire amount, and 
against the protests of the Indians. There was a general raid made by 
dishonest men upon the treaty moneys, and these raids were usually 
successful. Rt. Rev. H. B. Whipple, first Episcopal bishop of ]Minne- 
sota, who with his missionaries, labored zealously among the Indians, 
declared in 1863 that the Sioux sold to the government, 'nearly 800,000' 
acres of land, for which they never received one farthing, for it was 
all absorbed in claims.' Another authority stated that '$300,000 of the 
cash payment due the Sioux under the treaties of 1851 and 1852 were 
paid to the traders on old indebtedness.' So intense was the indignation 
of the Indians at this that there were fears of an attack upon the traders 
and the government officials who insisted on payment. Red Iron, princi- 
pal chief of the Sissetons, became so vigorous in his opposition that 
Governor Ramsey, ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs, broke him 
of his chieftainship, and placed him under arrest. A council was held 
of whites and Indians, and Red Iron was brought in under guard. The 
scene on this occasion was dramatic and intense, and the dialogue 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 345 

between Governor Ramsey and Red Iron was thrilling. Justice and fair- 
ness was upon the side of the chief. He emphatically protested against 
the payment of the claims already mentioned. Governor Ramsey insisted 
that payment must be made. Red Iron then proposed arbitration, say- 
ing: 'We don't think we owe so much. We want to pay all our debts. 
We want our Great Father to send three good men here to tell us how 
much we do owe, and whatever they say we will pay.' Governor Ram- 
sey replied that this could not be ; that the Indians owed more than their 
money would pay, and that the agent was ready to pay the annuities and 
no more. To this Red Iron responded in the following brief speech. I 
submit it here as a specimen of Indian oratory. Coming from a proud 
chief of a once great and powerful tribe, there is much that is pathetic 
in its utterances. It sounds like the requiem of a disappearing and dying 
race: 

" 'We will receive our annuity, but we will sign no papers for any- 
thing else. The snow is on the ground, and we have been waiting a 
long time to get our money. We are poor ; you have plenty. Your fires 
are warm ; your tepees keep out the cold. We have nothing to eat. We 
have been waiting a long time for our moneys. Our hunting season 
is past. A great many of our people are sick for being hungry. We 
may die because you won't pay us. We may die, but if w'e do we will 
leave our bones on the ground, that our Great Father may see where the 
Dakota children died. We are very poor. We have sold our hunting 
grounds and the graves of our fathers. We have sold our own graves. 
We have no place to bury our dead, and you will not pay us the money 
for our lands.' 

"The council broke up and Red Iron was sent back to the guard- 
house. Fifty-five thousand dollars of the claims paid under the treaty 
of 1851, to which these objections were made, went to one Hugh Tyler, 
for getting the treaties through the senate and for other 'necessary dis- 
bursements.' By the treaty of 1858 the Sioux ceded practically all their 
reservation north of the IMinnesota river, for which they were to receive 
$166,000, certain annuities and other considerations, but they only re- 
ceived $15,000 in goods, four years later. 

"Such a protest was made by the Indians in regard to the payment 
of the foregoing $300,000 that an investigation of charges against Gov- 
ernor Ramsey was had' in congress. A chief testified that a trader had 
offered him seventy horses and many double-barreled guns and pistols 



346 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

if he would sign a receipt for the treaty money. There was much other 
Hke testimony. 

"The senate decided unanimously that, whatever might have been 
done by traders and others, Governor Ramsey's conduct was not only 
free from blame, but highly commendable. 

"In his history, Heard says of conditions early in 1862: 'The In- 
dians were grieviously disappointed with their bargains. They had 
now nearly disposed of all their land, and had received scarcely anything 
for it. They were 6,200 in number and their annuities when paid in 
full were hardly $15 apiece. Their sufferings from hunger were often 
severe, especially during the winter previous to the massacre.' 

"In comparing the Indian system of our government with that of 
our neighbors to the north, it is somewhat humilating to us to know that 
while our Indian wars and outbreaks have been numerous, the Canadians 
have never had an Indian massacre nor an Indian war. 

"Immediately previous to the outbreak, the particular cause of com- 
plaint and dissatisfaction was the delay in the annuity payments, usually 
made in June. The Indians had left their hunting grounds and assem- 
bled at the agencies, and, as weeks went by, they became restive and 
discontented. This was added to by statements of the traders that, 
owing to the government's war trouble, they might receive only a part 
of the payment, possibly none. All this tended to increase the intense 
feeling of bitterness against the whites then existing, and led to secret 
war talk in which many of their warriors declared that, owing to the 
war in the south, the Indians could sweep down the valley, exterminate 
the whites, and winter at Fort Snelling. This was the situation on 
August 18, 1862, and briefly outlines the grievances of the Sioux, and 
their bitterness towards the whites at that date. For this condition, 
and for the loss of life and expenditures of millions of dollars which 
followed, the government was responsible in not promptly sending the 
annuity moneys. 

"The terrible bloody and fiendish outbreak of the Sioux Indians of 
Minnesota in 1862 stands out in American history as the most destruc- 
tive of human life of any of the many Indian wars occurring on the 
western hemisphere. A recent historian tells us that — 

" 'More white people perished in that savage slaughter than in all the 
other massacres ever perpetrated on the American continent. Add the 
number of white victims of the Indian wars of New England during 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 347 

the colonial period to the list of those who perished in Wyoming and 
Cherry valleys and to the pioneers who were killed in the early white 
occupation of the middle west and the south, and the aggregate falls 
short of the number of people of Minnesota who were slain by the 
Sioux in less than one week in that memorable month of August, 1862.' 
"To the above I will add that the number so slaughtered far ex- 
ceeded the total of all the ^Minnesota soldiers killed in battle or died of 
wounds during the Civil and Indian wars. 

"At this time when 5,000 Minnesota soldiers were battling upon 
southern fields, and other 5,000 were rushing to arms in response to the 
president's call, this storm of blood swept over our young state, carry- 
ing devastation, destruction and death into their very homes. Certainly, 
Minnesota was doubly afflicted in those dark days of our national his- 
tory. 

"When the dispatches reached Governor Ramsey, he at once placed 
ex-Governor Sibley, with the rank of colonel, in command of a force of 
400 men of the Sixth IMinnesota infantry, with orders to proceed at 
once up the Minnesota valley. Owing to the rendezvous of volunteers 
at Fort Snelling, there was no lack of men, but no suitable equipment 
could be had. Sibley started at once and reached St. Peter on the 22nd. 
At Shakopee Captain Grant's Company A was detached with orders to 
proceed to Glencoe and thence to St. Peter. Captain Strait was ordered 
to join him, and my military service began. We passed through a coun- 
try deserted by settlers and reached St. Peter on the 23d, where the 
greatest panic existed. The surrounding country had been abandoned, 
and the work of destruction and death was going on within ten miles. 

"The following letter from Lieutenant Governor Donnelly, dated 
St. Peter, August 26, gives a very correct idea of the situation in the 
Minnesota valley at that date, and the effect of the Indian uprising upon 
the people and the country: 

" 'You can hardly conceive the panic existing along the valley. In 
Belle Plaine I found 600 people crowded. In this place leading citizens 
assure me that there are between 3,000 and 4,000 refugees. On the road 
between New Ulm and Mankato are over 2,000; Mankato also is crowded. 
The people here are in a state of panic. They fear to see our forces 
leave. Although we may agree that much of this dread is without 
foundation, nevertheless it is producing disastrous consequences to the 
state. The people will continue to pour down the valley, carrying con- 



348 SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF ^IIXXESOTA 

sternation wherever they go, their property in the meantime abandoned 
and going to ruin.' 

"The panic to some extent extended even to the vicinity of St. 
Paul, as is evidenced by the fact that Colonel Sibley's family, residing 
in the old ^Mansion at IMendota, went over to Fort Snelling on one occa- 
sion to spend a night because of an 'Indian scare.' 

"In his 'History of the Sioux War,' I. V. D. Heard thus vividly 
portrays conditions in the ]\Iinnesota valley when Sibley reached St. 
Peter : 

" 'Shakopee, Belle Plaine and Henderson were filled with fugitives. 
Guards patrolled the outskirts and attacks were constantly apprehended. 
Oxen were killed in the streets, and the meat, hastily prepared, cooked 
over fires on the ground. The grist mills were surrendered by their 
owners to the public and' kept in constant motion to allay the demand 
for food. All thought of property was abandoned. Safety of life pre- 
vailed over every other consideration. Poverty stared in the face of 
those who had been affluent, but they thought little of that. Women 
were to be seen in the street hanging on each others' necks, telling of 
their mutual losses, and the little terror-stricken children, surviving rem- 
nants of once happy homes, crying piteously around their knees. The 
houses and stables were all occupied by people, and hundreds of the fugi- 
tives had no covering or shelter but the canopy of heaven.' 

"Colonel Sibley's command, now increased to about 1,500, left St. 
Peter August 26. The cavalry rode into Fort Rid'gley the next day, 
and we of the infantry arrived on the 28th. 

"The inception of the Great Sioux Outbreak, the spark which ig- 
nited the powder magazine, was due to a wrangle among a hunting party 
of Indians near Acton, on August 17. A hen's nest and a 'dare' to rob 
it led to reflections upon individual courage, which reached such a heat, 
that, to prove their bravery four of the party shot and killed three white 
men and two women. Realizing that this act would cause their arrest 
and severe punishment, they rapidly proceeded to the Lower Sioux agency, 
informed their relatives, and an immediate uprising was decided upon. 
Little Crow was asked to lead, at first hesitated, and then considered, 
saying: 'Trouble is sure to come with the whites sooner or later. It 
may as well take place now as any time. I am with you. Let us hurry 
to the agency, kill the traders and take their goods.' The slaughter be- 
gan. The whites were taken unawares and were easy victims. All men 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF AIIXNESOTA 349 

were shot down — few women were killed. The stores proved such an 
attraction that the Indians poured into them, pillaging and looting, dur- 
ing which time some whites managed to escape across the river. Later 
in the day, the savages crossed the Minnesota, scattered throughout the 
settlements, and began their fiendish work of murder, rapine, unspeak- 
able outrages, burning the houses and general destruction and devasta- 
tion. Men, women and children were slaughtered under the most horrible 
circumstances, and their bodies shockingly mutilated. The unsuspecting 
settlers were taken completely by surprise, and made no resistance; in- 
deed, very few had firearms, and were not even accustomed to using 
them. Though hundreds of whites were slain that day, not a single 
Indian was killed. In some localities, the whites learning of the upris- 
ing, hurriedly assembled together, naturally thinking numbers would add 
to their safety, and started for Fort Ridgley. In a German settlement 
in western Renville county twenty-five families had thus gathered and 
were waiting for neighbors to join them, when a war party of Shako- 
pee's band suddenly appeared, surrounded them, and slaughtered 100 
men, women and children within an area of two acres. At a war dance 
that evening Chief Shakopee exultingly declared that he had toma- 
hawked so many whites that day that his arm was lame. 

"Down the Minnesota river on both sides below Fort Ridgley as 
far as New Ulm, and up the river to Yellow Medicine the bloody 
slaughter extended that day. The fiendish butcheries and horrible kill- 
ings beggar description. I cite one of many like instances : Cut Nose, 
a savage of savages, with half a dozen other Sioux, overtook a number 
of whites in wagons. He sprang into one of the vehicles in which were 
eleven women and children and tomahawked every one of them, yelling 
in fiendish delight as his weapon went crashing through the skulls of his 
helpless victims. Twenty-five whites were killed at this point. Settlers 
were slain from near the Iowa line in Jackson county as far north as 
Breckenridge, including Glencoe, Hutchinson, Forest City, Manannah 
and other places. The very great number of whites, however, were 
slaughtered within the reservations, and in Renville and Brown counties. 
During the first week, it is estimated that over 600 whites were killed 
and nearly 200 women and children taken captive. Only one man es- 
caped death — George Spencer, wounded at the lower agency, was saved 
by a friendly Indian, and became a prisoner. 

"The whites at the Yellow Medicine agency to the number of sixty- 



350 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF ^IIXNESOTA 

two, among them the family of Indian Agent Galbraith, escaped by the 
aid of John Otherday, a friendly Indian. 

"When the news of the outbreak reached Fort Ridgley, Captain 
John S. Marsh, with forty-six of his men of Company B, Fifth Minne- 
sota, started for the lower agency. He was ambushed at Redwood Ferry, 
and twenty-four of his men were killed. He w-as drowned in attempting 
to cross the river. This disastrous affair has been vividly described in 
a paper- read before this commandery, by a participant, Lieutenant 
Bishop. 

"When Captain Marsh left the fort the command devolved upon 
Lieutenant Thomas P. Geere, aged 19. His force consisted of twenty- 
nine men. Some 200 refugees had flocked in. At noon the long ex- 
pected annuity money ($71;000) arrived at the fort. Its delay was due 
to the fact that Secretary Chase wished to send a portion of it in cur- 
rency, to which the Indian commissioner and agent objected strongly. 
That night two of the men who escaped from the ferry arrived with 
news of the disaster. Lieutenant Geere at once sent Private Sturgis 
with dispatches to Governor Ramsey, also to Lieutenant Sheehan, who 
had started the day before for Fort Ripley with fifty men, asking him 
to return. Sheehan made a forced march of forty-two miles, and ar- 
rived at the fort next day. The Renville rangers, fifty men, who had 
started for Snelling, also returned to the fort the same evening. It 
was Little Crow's plan to attack the fort on the 18th, but he was over- 
ruled by his warriors, who believed there were 100 men in the fort, 
and a raid through the settlements offered more attractions. This was 
most fortunate, as the fort that day might have been easily captured. 
An attack was made on the 20th and another on the 22nd, on the latter 
date with 500 or 600 Indians, who kept up the battle for five hours, 
and finally retired, with a loss to the garrison of only one killed and six 
wounded. 

"The most momentous engagements of the Indian war were the 
attacks upon New Ulm, as the fate of more than 1,500 people was at 
stake. The Sioux first assaulted it on the day following the outbreak, 
but were driven off. That night Judge C. E. Flandrau, of the supreme 
court, arrived with 125 men, and the next day 50 arrived from Mankato. 
Judge Flandrau was chosen to command, On the 23d the Indians, 
some 500 strong, again attacked the little city, surrounding it, and ap- 
parently determined to capture it. The battle lasted five or six hours. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 351 

The Indians set fire to the houses to the windward, and the flames swept 
towards the center of the city, where the inhabitants had barricaded 
themselves, and complete destruction seemed inevitable. At this criti- 
cal moment, Asai White, an old frontiersman, sought Flandrau and said : 
'Judge, if this goes on the Indians will bag us in about two hours.' 
Flandrau replied: 'It looks that way; what would you suggest?' White 
answered: 'We must make for the cottonwood timber.' This was two 
and one-half miles distant. 'No,' said Flandrau, 'they would slaughter 
us like sheep — our strongest hope is in the town.' He asked White for 
fifty volunteers and he would lead them in a charge, and drive the In- 
dians out of the lower town. The volunteers were soon ready, and headed 
by Flandrau, and yelling like Comanches, they charged the Sioux and 
drove them half a mile. The whites then set fire to and burned all the 
houses on the outskirts in which the Indians were taking shelter. In 
all 190 structures were destroyed. Towards evening the Indians retired. 
Thirty-six whites were killed, including ten slain in reconnaisance on 
the 19th. Seventy to eighty were wounded. Owing to a shortage of 
provisions and ammunition, the city was evacuated on the 25th. The 
sick and wounded, and women and children were loaded into 153' wagons 
and started for Mankato. No more pathetic sight was ever witnessed 
on this continent than this long procession of 1,500 people forced to 
leave their homes and flee from a savage foe. 

"While every one of New Ulm's defenders did his duty bravely 
and manfully, the hero of its defense, the man who contributed most 
to its salvation from savage butchery, was Charles E. Flandrau. Having 
been Indian agent and long on the frontier, he knew the Sioux and their 
characteristics well. In the prime of physical manhood, with cool head, 
sound judgment and magnificent personal courage, he was especially fitted 
for the emergency. He saved New Ulm. 

"One of the most disastrous events of the campaign was the sur- 
prise of 150 of our troops at Birch Coulie by a large number of Sioux 
on September 29. This force went out on a reconnaisance and to bury 
dead settlers. They were attacked at daybreak, and for thirty-one hours 
were under fire without food or water. Twenty-three were killed and 
sixty wounded. Eighty-seven horses were also killed. It was a terrible 
experience. 

"The battle of Wood Lake, which occurred on September 23, be- 
tween Sibley's force and some 500 Indians, ended all organized opposition 



352 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

for that year. Sibley encamped at Lone Tree Lake on the evening- of 
the 22nd, about three miles from the Indian camp. The Sioux decided 
to ambush our troops the next morning on the march through Yellow 
Medicine woods, and also to surround the camp with a line of warriors. 
This plan, which might, if it had been carried out, have resulted in great 
loss to our force, was upset by a somewhat fortunate disregard' of dis- 
cipline on the part of Third regiment men, some 270 of whom, who had 
been paroled at Murfreesboro, were with Sibley. They were indignant 
at their surrender, and not over inclined to observe discipline. That 
morning, without leave, a few of the Third with four wagons, started 
for a potato field a couple of miles off and drove right into the Indian 
line. The savages opened fire, killed one of the men, and the fight was 
on. The men of the Third in camp seized their guns and ran to the 
assistance of their comrades. The battle soon became general, and the 
Indians in the woods hurried back to take part. The Sixth and Seventh 
regiments, the Renville rangers, and Hendricks' battery were soon en- 
gaged. The Sioux made a hard fight but were defeated at all points 
and retreated. A prominent citizen of the state, then a member of the 
Third Minnesota, has written an account of the part taken by the Third 
on this occasion, which appears in the official records. I extract the 
following: 'Above the din of musketry and the warwhoops of the In- 
dians, I remember the hoarse voice of Sergeant J. M. Bowler (now a 
member of this commandery) roaring like a madman: "Remember 
Murfreesboro! Fight boys! Remember Murfreesboro!'" That the 
boys of the Third did fight is evidenced by the fact that of the seven 
men killed that day five were of the Third, and of the thirty-four 
wounded twenty-seven belonged to the same regiment. And these were 
the brave men whom Colonel Lester surrendered without permitting 
them to fire a shot. The bodies of sixteen d'ead Indians were found. 
As they always carry oft' their dead and wounded, if possible, it is cer- 
tain that this was a small portion of their loss. 

"On the 26th Colonel Sibley moved forward to the Indian camps. 
Little Crow and his band had hastily retreated after the battle at Wood 
Lake. At the time there was some criticism of Sibley because he did 
not at once move on and attack the Indian camp. His great object was to 
secure the release of the captives, and he feared that such a course might 
result in their massacre. George Spencer, the only white man among 
the prisoners, afterwards said that if the troops had marched to the 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 353 

camp and attacked it that day the prisoners would all have been killed. 
As it was, and by the friendly co-operation of Wabasha's band, the cap- 
tives were released, in number 91 whites and about 200 half-breeds. The 
women of the latter had been subjected to the same indignities as the 
white women. 

"Colonel Sibley at once proceeded to arrest all Indians who were 
suspected of complicity in the murders and other outrages. Eventually over 
400 were tried by the following military commission: Colonel Crooks, 
Lieutenant Colonel Marshall, captains Grant and Bailey, Lieutenant 
Olin, and I. V. D. Heard, special aide on Colonel Sibley's staff, as re- 
corder. It certainly was a most excellent court. Later Major Bradley 
succeeded Lieutenant Colonel Marshall. The Indians were arraigned 
upon written charges, specifying the criminating acts, and signed by Col- 
onel Sibley. If witnesses testified to or prisoner admitted that he was 
a participant, that was sufficient. Those convicted of plundering and rob- 
bing, were condemned to imprisonment, those engaged in individual mas- 
sacres, in battles or of violating women were sentenced to the death 
penalty. As many as forty were tried in a day. Of the 425 arraigned 
and tried 303 were sentenced to death and 18 to imprisonment. That 
the hearings were fair and impartial is proven by the fact that in nearly 
one-fourth of the cases the accused were acquitted. 

"Colonel Sibley had at first intended hanging those condemned to 
death as rapidly as found guilty, but, as the number grew, he realized 
that he could not assume such a responsibility. He approved the find- 
ings and urged the execution of the 303 Indians ; General Pope strongly 
indorsed this recommendation; Governor Ramsey vigorously advocated 
that the sentences be carried out, and the people of the state with prac- 
tically one voice, demanded that the savage murderers and ravishers 

be hung. 

"When the intelligence of the court martial and condemnation of 
the Sioux reached the east, the press raised the cry that Minnesota was 
contemplating a dreadful massacre of Indian prisoners, and many bodies 
of well-intentioned but ill-informed people petitioned President Lin- 
coln to put a stop to the proposed execution. The above protests, to- 
gether with a belief that the charge would undoubtedly be made by the 
south that the north was murdering prisoners of war, led the president 
to reduce the number of those condemned to death to thirty-nine. One 

23 



354 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

of these proved an alibi and was released. Thirty-eight were hanged 
at Mankato on December 26, 1862, on one scaffold, the cutting of a 
single rope dropping the entire number into eternity. The rest of the 
condemned were taken down to Davenport. Iowa, where they were 
kept in confinement about four years, when they were sent west of the 
Missouri and released. 

"It should be stated here, that under date of September 6 :\Iajor 
General John Pope was appointed to the command of the department of the 
northwest, with headquarters at St. Paul. On September 29 Colonel 
Sibley was promoted to brigadier general. 

"As already stated, the battle at Wood Lake practically closed the 
campaign of 1862. A small force of Indians had attacked Fort Aber- 
crombie on Septembr 3, 6 and 26, but were easily driven off. Little 
Crow with some 125 of his band left the state and wintered near Devil's 
Lake. The next summer he returned with a few followers, and several 
whites were killed by them. On July 3, 1863, he was shot and killed near 
Hutchinson bv a farmer named Nathan Lawson. It was not known for 
some time that the Indian killed was the noted chief. His skull is now 
one of the curios in the Historical Society. 

"In November, 1862, three months after the outbreak, Indian Agent 
Galbraith prepared the following, giving the number of whites killed: 
Citizens massacred, in Renville county and reservations, 221 ; in Dakota 
territory and Big Stone Lake, 32; in Brown county and Lake Shetak, 
204; in other frontier counties, 187; total, 644. 

"Soldiers killed : Redwood Ferry, 25 ; Fort Ridgley and New Ulm, 
29; Birch Coulie, 23; Fort Abercrombie, Acton, Forest City, Hutchin- 
son and other places including Wood Lake, 17; total, 94; making 738 
whites killed. Historians Flandrau and Heard both place the number 
at over 1,000. 

"It is difficult to ascertain the losses of Indians. They are dis- 
posed to conceal such information as something that is discreditable. 
An officer interviewed Sioux of different bands, while they were prison- 
ers at Fort Snelling, and found that their admitted death loss was 43. 
Of these twenty-two were killed at Wood Lake, five at New Ulm, four 
at Abercrombie, and twelve at various other places. Certainly their loss 
was much greater than this. 

"A number of able and historically valuable papers have been read 
before this commandery, covering particular occurrences during the 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 355 

Sioux war, such as Birch Coulie, Redwood Ferry, marches across the 

plains and others. It occurred to me that it would be appropriate to 

also place upon our record pages something general in character, giving 

in condensed form a comprehensive glance at what followed the 'Great 

Sioux Outbreak,' wath incidental reference to some of the causes which 

brought it about. With some personal knowledge of events as they 

happened, and at the expense of considerable time in the examination 

of official and historical data, I have prepared this paper. It may give 

to our descendants of future generations who consult the pages of 

our 'Glimpses of a Nation's Struggle' some information as to the extent 

of the terrible cyclone of destruction, devastation and death which swept 

over our fair young state in the to us dark and bloody summer and 

autumn months of 1862." 

* * * 

The above account of the Sioux war by Captain MacDonald is not 
written from the special view-point of a Scandinavian, but narrates the 
awful experiences of some of our countrymen. 

About one hundred and twenty miles northwest of St. Paul, in 
Kandiyohi county, is a fine lake, called Norway Lake, six miles in length 
and from one to two miles wide. It is partially enclosed by woods which, 
especially to the north of the lake, spread for many miles over the 
country. Around Norway Lake the land is rolling prairie. It is rated 
among the best wheat producing land in the state. The air, though rather 
cold in the months of January and February, is upon the whole pleasant 
and bracing. 

One day in July, 1859, some Scandinavian families came into this 
country to settle there. They took land in the neighborhood of the lake, 
rather far apart from one another. The Indians thereabout, however, 
seeming friendly disposed toward them, they had no fear of trouble on 
that account. They found the redskins experts in pilfering and begging; 
yet they shared their bread with them, and thus made them behave peace- 
fully. 

The life of a newcomer in such localities differed not a little from 
that of farmers in civilized sections. The house, in most cases, was a 
rude log cabin plastered with mud and having a huge fireplace with an 
outside chimney, or the stovepipe sticking out through roof or w^all. 
One single small room served as kitchen, bedroom, parlor, pantry and 
for all other purposes. The furniture was just as antediluvian in char- 



356 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

acter, empty boxes with rough deal boards on top serving as seats and 
a heap of litter on the floor as bed. The staple food with these settlers 
was Indian corn, which they would grind on a coffee-mill, an implement 
which thus had to be kept constantly running to furnish food enough, 
as soon as the family began to increase in number. Next they might 
have some fish, fowl and pork. What wheat they raised, they could 
hardly dispose of, there being no place to sell it. It was threshed by 
oxen being driven in a ring over the sheaves. Their cash earnings the 
settlers had mostly from hunting and trapping in the woods. Once every 
month agents of the fur traders would come around, buying the skins 
and paying cash for them ; for minks from six to seven dollars, and for 
muskrats twenty-five to forty cents per skin. The money made in this 
way by the settlers would usually suffice to pay for clothing and their 
few agricultural implements. Their dress was a rather primitive one, 
not at all after the fashion of the day. Men in wooden shoes and home- 
made woolen jackets were no uncommon sights at their religious meet- 
ings, or even when they were locked in holy matrimony before the altar. 
This, to all appearance rude and rough manner of life, was, however, not 
without those gentle elements that go to elevate and refine mankind. 
Of books there were none, except the Bible and Psalmbook, but the 
natural scenery surrounding the settlers on all sides spoke through its 
grandeur to their minds ; and their isolated and perilous situation not only 
made the members of the same family cling more closely together, but 
even prompted them to help and assist their neighbors, and to extend 
their hospitality beyond the dictates of discretion and of their small 
means. Adding hereto their healthy exercise in the invigorating air and 
the development of their mental faculties through the varied dangers 
to which they were exposed, we may account for the unwillingness 
manifested by not a few of the settlers to change their isolated situation 
for a safer, but also more monotonous, life in eastern states. 

Our settlers at Norway Lake lived in peace and safety until August, 
1862. The harvest of the season was so plentiful that they hardly had 
room for it, and the farmers looked forward full of hope and confidence. 
The Civil war was in full blaze, to be sure, but its effects were little 
felt here in the extreme northwest, and of the discontent among the 
Indians the settlers hardly heard anything ; that was no concern of theirs. 
Then, as a lightning flash from a clear sky, came the bloody horrors 
that broke up this little colony also. 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 357 

Wednesday, the twentieth of August, dawned bright and warm. 
Members of several of the households had gone east to attend services 
to be held by the Rev. Andrew Jackson. Several of the most western 
families were of Swedish nationality, for instance, those of Andreas 
Peter Broberg and Daniel Broberg, two brothers. Only a few half- 
grown children and some of a more tender age were left at home. 
Shortly after the parents had left these were visited by a number of 
Indians who had scarcely entered the house before they began maltreating 
the defenseless children. One of the latter, however, got away and noti- 
fied the parents. Nearly all in the congregation were ready to take up 
their guns and start back, but were prevented by the minister, who, 
thinking the case one of no extreme danger, was for a peaceful settle- 
ment of the affair. This proved a fatal mistake. Some of the most 
fearless settlers started, nevertheless, to return, but only one of them, 
A. Lundberg, took his gun with him, putting more trust in that weapon 
than in the clergyman's familiarity with Indian habits and disposition. 
He also went by a more direct route through a grove, while the others 
followed the wagon road. When near enough to see his house he heard 
the report of guns, and stopping on this account, he saw, how the other 
party, and among them four of his sons, namely, Anders, Gustaf, Lars 
and Samuel, were assailed by the Indians. One of the boys, Lars, on 
receiving a dangerous wound, ran toward a fence near where his father 
was standing, and tried to climb it, but was hit by the bullets of the pursu- 
ing fiends, who soon after came up and cut his throat from ear to ear, 
whereupon they stripped his body of such clothing as they thought they 
could use. All this happened before the eyes of the father, who, paral- 
yzed with horror, was unable to move from the spot to protect his boy. 
In his despair, however, he emitted heart-rending cries, and thereby drew 
upon himself the attention of the Indians, who started to pursue him, 
and sent their bullets after him. He ran as fast as he could, and the 
redskins, just then catching sight of a wagon drawn by oxen and filled 
with settlers returning from the above-mentioned meeting, left off from 
their pursuit after Lundberg and headed for the wagon. They soon 
came up with it. Some of the occupants, Sven Johnson, with wife and 
tw^o children and another little boy, P. Broberg (who later became a 
merchant at New London, the same county), succeeded, nevertheless, in 
reaching Johnson's house, where they hid themselves in the cellar. The 
Indians soon arrived there, fired through the windows, split open the 



358 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 

door, and cut to pieces what scanty furniture they found, among the 
rest the clock, which they tore down from the wall and trampled upon. 
Fortunately enough the hatch over the opening into the cellar escaped 
their eyes. One of the heavy chests had in the scrimmage been pushed 
over it by the fiends themselves. They thereupon left the house. 

In the meanwhile Lundberg had got a start of about a mile. On 
arriving at his house he told his family and two other persons who lived 
with them, to make ready without delay, and soon they were all on their 
way toward the nearest neighbor's, Air. Ole Knudson's, about three miles 
off' Lundberg himself, and an elderly companion, were the last who 
left the house. They took with them two guns and some ammunition. 
The Indians soon were on their track, and the settlers were in no little 
danger, their guns having become wet while they were plodding through 
a slough. They had several times to turn around and make front against 
their pursuers, as if they proposed to attack them. The Indians would 
then retreat until they had got their guns reloaded, when they would take 
the offensive again. Having in this way came within about one mile 
from Ole Knudson's house, the attention of the Indians was attracted 
to a team of horses tied to a w^agon. A little off two men were busy 
hewing logs for a cabin. The Indians went up, shook hands with them, 
asking permission to try the fine horses. The owner objected. Two of 
the Indians, nevertheless, mounted the animals and rode off with them, 
while the others stood with their guns cocked, compelling the settlers to 
keep quiet. They did not kill any of them, however. 

Lundberg and his party had. in the meanwhile, improved the oppor- 
tunity to secrete themselves, hoping for a safer escape when under cover 
of night. In the evening some of the fugitives arrived at the house of 
Ole Knudson, who at once prepared to start with them. He and his 
wife shouldered each a child, and ofif they sped toward the house of 
Even Railson, their neighbor. Finding that he had left, they resolved 
to take refuge in a small island in Norway Lake, situated so far from 
shore as to be safe against the guns of the Indians. The passage was 
effected by means of an excavated basswood log, hardly capable of carry- 
ing two men at a time. They repeated the trip till all of them had got 
over safely. They determined there to defend themselves to the utmost 
against the Indians. As, however, several of the neighbors and acquaint- 
ances were yet, in all probability, rambling around not far from the 
lake— among them the wife and daughter of Lundberg — six men were 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 359 

sent out with two horses — the latter brought along by Johannes, the 
eldest of the sons of Lundberg — to look around for the fugitives and 
bring them safely over tO' the islet. 

When the explorers came to Knudson's cabin, the darkness was in- 
tense and the rain pouring down amidst thunder and lightning. Some 
of the party, therefore, thought all further search in vain, but three of 
the men, E. Railson, Lundberg and Knudson, declined to give up, and in 
despite of darkness and rain, continued their efiforts for a good while yet. 
They were fortunate to hit upon five individuals who had taken shelter 
in different places among the tall rush of the marshes. These were all 
now conducted to Knudson's cabin to be landed safely on the island in 
the morning. 

The next day twelve of the "islanders" started to explore a large 
tract in the vicinity. They divided into two parties, selecting Knudson's 
grove as a meeting place. They found no stray settlers, but came near 
mistaking each other for Indians — an error that was happily discovered 
in time to prevent bloodshed. They came by some food which proved 
quite a relief to the women and child-ren on the island, who had eaten 
nothing since the flight began. 

The following morning they sent out an expedition to bury the 
dead and bring back to the island such as might yet be alive. On their 
way they hit upon Samuel Lundberg, who had been wounded by the 
Indians and left for dead. He had, however, recovered so far that he 
was able to walk, though yet weak from loss of blood, from hunger and 
the extreme peril he had been exposed to. 

Having taken him to the stronghold in the lake, the party continued 
their march and soon arrived at the scene of the massacre, where lay 
the mutilated remains of friends and neighbors, some in the cabins and 
others in the fields. Lament was of little avail, so the men set to* work 
digging graves with the spades and shovels they carried with them for 
that purpose, and deposited the dead. They found all those they were 
looking for, two of them the sons of Broberg, sixteen and seventeen years, 
respectively, in the grove near their father's cabin. One of them clutched 
a hammer in his hand; near the other lay an old, broken, bloodstained 
knife. Both had been killed by a blow with a tomahawk on the head, 
whereupon their throats had been cut. One little six-year-old boy had 
evidently tried to flee, but had been overtaken by the bloodhounds, who 
had split his head with an ax belonging to Broberg himself. Some of the 



36o SWEDISH-A:\IERICAXS of MINNESOTA 

victims lay stripped of their clothing ; on; others the clothing was burned 
One infant had been subjected to the most terrible outrage; its nose had 
been cut off, its skull crushed in, and in one of the cheeks was a deep 
hole. The remains of the mother were found near by. She had evidently 
fought to the last to save her own life and that of her child. 

In all thirteen bodies were found at this place. For three days they 
had been exposed to the burning sun — to handle them was, consequently, 
anything but pleasant. They were buried in one common grave. 

At Broberg's house, everything had been either carried away or 
destroyed. Near the door lay the cat with a knife sticking through it 
into the floor. Having searched the neighborhood in vain for Mrs. 
Lundberg, now the only one whose fate was unknown, the party returned 
to the island. Here, in the meanwhile, a woman had arrived with a little 
child. Her home was about three miles farther to the south. The 
Indians had also been there, and shot and killed her husband in the field 
where he was mowing hay, after which they had tried to carry ofif herself 
and her sixteen-year-old daughter. While they were forcing the latter up 
on one of their ponies, the mother had fled into the woods. The girl 
made so spirited a resistance that the horse took fright, threw her and 
ran away. The Indians, in order to recapture the animal, left the girl to 
herself, a chance she improved by starting for the woods. The mother, 
with the youngest child, went to the lake, whither also the daughter 
intended to go together with the other four children whom she, during 
the night, met at the house. They lost their way, however, on the open 
prairie, and it was not until the following day they succeeded in reaching 
a house where they found some milk, which they drank, but no inmates. 
They were saved at last as shall be related hereafter. 

The homeless settlers now sought to collect what had been spared 
by the redskins. It did not amount to much upon the whole ; and their 
agricultural implements, and other such property of the unwieldier kind, 
were mostly abducted by the Indians or maurauding whites during the 
ensuing winter. A prolonged stay on the isle seemed little advisable on 
account of the scarcity of provisions. They, therefore, prepared to leave 
—the crossing to be effected in a little boat and two disemboweled logs— 
and one fine morning the oxen were put to the wagons, and all were 
ready to start and go eastward. In the meantime Tom Osmundson and 
his father-in-law, Sven Borgen, should drive over with their team to the 
house of the latter to take on board some property left there. When near 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 361 

the house, half a dozen redskins or more emerged from the grove near 
by, and began shooting at them, Osmundson being seated in the vehicle 
and Sven walking behind. They cried out for help and were answered 
in good old style by those at the lake, especially the women. The Indians 
became frightened, ran to their ponies in the grove, and fled southward 
over the prairie toward another grove, called the "Dahl grove," a Swede 
by that name living there. Fortunately for him, he was not at home. The 
men from the island pursued for a while, but gave up and returned, 
fearing lest the women and children, who were frantically pulling back 
to the stronghold, should be attacked by another crowd of savages. 

The panic and confusion having subsided, some of the men mounted 
the nearest hillocks to look out, while others undertook to ferry over the 
last of the "garrison." No sooner had they all got over than a train 
of men on horseback, and others in wagons, were seen approaching from 
the west. New confusion, this time, however, to end in general rejoicings. 
Expeditions having been sent out from both sides to reconnoiter, the 
approaching caravan was found to consist of none but the good people 
from Painsville and vicinity, who, in full military equipment, had taken 
the field to assist their fellow-settlers at Norway Lake. These brave 
Painsville men had, on the prairie, met with the five children" above 
mentioned, whose father, Johannes Ifvarson, had been killed by the 
Indians. The children, mistaking their friends for enemies, ran with 
all their might, and had to be hunted up and caught like wild animals. 
They were now, safe and sound, taken to their mother who, as stated, 
was with the settlers. From the Painsville people Mr. Lundberg learned 
that also his wife was alive. She had come to Painsville in the company 
of Even Olson and his family, Lars Iverson and his family, one Erik 
Kapperud and the two men with whose horses the Indians ran off near 
Knudson's house. All these had clubbed together, and in one body 
traveled north of Norway Lake, through wood's and swamps, to Pains- 
ville, Stearns county, about twenty-five miles east of Norway Lake. They 
now all set out for Painsville, where they arrived in the evening, and 
where there were almost no end to the rejoicings of Mr. and Mrs. Lund- 
berg, who had entertained no hope of ever more meeting in this world. 
Here the fugitives remained a few days, partly to rest and restore their 
strength, and partly because of their disagreement as to where to go next, 
some of them being for returning to their farms, others wanting to move 
still farther east. 



362 SWEDISH-A^IERICAXS OF AIIXNESOT.A 

The rumor of the massacre having spread, people began to come up 
from St. Cloud. They warned the settlers against going east. There 
they would perish for want of food. But if they would go back and 
take care of their farms once more, they should have every possible 
assistance ; arms, ammunition, nay, even military protection. Thus spoke 
the men from St. Cloud. All their eloquence, however, proving of no 
avail, they told the fugitives that under no circumstances would they 
be allowed to cross the Mississippi river. Despite all this the Norway 
Lake people started to move east, and wherever they came the settlers 
along their track made ready and joined them, for no one wanted to 
be left on the line immediately exposed to the cannibals. And on they 
traveled, young and old, until they came to St. Cloud, where they stopped 
for a few days, and where the people actually tried to prevent them 
from crossing the river. There was no bridge at that day, and the ferry- 
boat was chained and locked. One morning, then, when the ferryman 
had peremptorily refused them the use of his boat, the Swedes, and 
the rest as well, drove their cattle down to the river, and T. Osmundson 
got safely over on the back of his oxen. The other settlers followed, 
and before evening all the cattle had crossed the Mississippi. The next 
step now was to break loose the ferry-boat. The police of the place 
would interfere, but withdrew when the settlers declared they would 
rather risk a tussle with the honorable peace preservers of St. Cloud 
than with the redskins. The people of St. Cloud now being on the 
exposed line, began to feel rather anxious themselves. They dug ditches, 
threw up miniature fortifications and posted guards on the ramparts; 
nay, some of them even went so far as to leave the place for good, or 
at least to send ofif their families. 

The Norway Lake people, after a long and wearisome travel, at 
length got as far as the St. Anthony falls. Here they were visited by 
the people of the place, who very generously supplied them with both 
food and clothing. In the same kind way they were received at St. Paul, 
where the toll-bridge stood open for their passage free of charge. From 
there they spread over the counties east and northeast of St. Paul, among 
friends and kinsmen, where many of them remained, until about three 
years later, in the spring of 1865, they began going back to their old 
homes at Norway Lake. Here they did surely not find things as they left 
them. Redskins and prairie fires had played havoc with their cabins. 
Little by little, however, they got over their troubles and have since lived 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 363 

unmolested by the Indians. Nor was the time far off when immigration 
should assume such proportions that all available land was taken up, 
mostly by Scandinavians. 

The first white settlers in the town of Dovre, Kandiyohi county, 
were Lars Anderson and Sivert Anderson, both of them settling in the 
year 1857. Soon after came Oscar Erikson, the only survivor of the 
first settlers. Johan Backlund, Andreas Peterson, Andreas Lorentson and 
Magnus Anderson took land simultaneously in the more eastern part of 
the same town, as did in town of Willmar Andrew Nilson and Sven 
Svenson. The first girl born of white parents in Dovre was Anna Ander- 
son, and the first boy Erik Erikson. 

Of the murderous attacks made by the Sioux Indians in 1862, the 
following is reported from this section of Kandiyohi county : On Wed- 
nesday, August 20, in the evening, fifteen Indians appeared at the house 
of Oscar Erikson, Section 36. The inmates, though accustomed to such 
visitations, became somewhat alarmed by the threatening looks of the 
savages. These made several attempts to get into the house, which were 
frustrated, without resource to forcible resistance by the members of the 
four families living there. The redskins retired to the woods near by, 
but came back next morning asking for potatoes. A fearless Swede 
by the name of Carlson went out into the field to give them what they 
demanded, and they seemed satisfied for the moment. Shortly after, 
however, they reappeared, again calling for a fresh supply of potatoes, 
and at the same time wanting to see Mr. Sam Foote, an American, as the 
name indicates. Carlson went out first, followed by Foote. A little 
while after, the report of guns was heard. Carlson was killed and 
scalped, while Foote, wounded by some buckshot, succeeded in retiring 
into the house, whose door was at once barred. The Indians then 
leveled their guns at the windows, behind which all kinds of furniture 
was piled up by the inmates, who at the same time briskly answered the 
fire of their assailants. Foote had the satisfaction of wounding two 
redskins and killing the one that had taken the scalp of Carlson. He 
received, however, himself a bullet in the breast. Oscar Erikson also 
being wounded (by a bullet in the abdomen), the wives of the two men 
took it upon themselves to return the fire. At two o'clock in the after- 
noon the Indians withdrew, whereupon all, except the two prostrated men 
and their families, left the house. Early the next day (August 22), the 
savages were again at the house. Finding it yet occupied, they fired a 



364 SWEDISH-AAIERICAXS OF MINNESOTA 

few shots at it and left without doing further harm. The two women 
in the house seeing several cabins on fire, and fearing lest the same fate 
be reserved for their own home, resolved to go with their children to 
some other place, leaving their wounded husbands behind. The latter 
thinking themselves almost on the point of death, did not try to detain 
their mates. These, therefore, set out with their children and arrived 
safely at Forest City. Ole O. Hagen was found dead on the road from 
Green Lake to his home, in Section 32. He had tried to avoid bleeding 
to death by putting grass into the gaping wounds. At his house were 
found the dead bodies of Mrs. Olson, Fredrik Olson and Berge Bergesen. 
On the same day four Indians came to the house of Lars Anderson, 
Section 19. They were well known to the family, by which they often 
had been friendly treated in different ways. One of them w^as called 
John, He could speak a little English. Each of them carried a double- 
barreled shotgim. They shook hands with Anderson, and asked for 
some milk to drink, which he brought them in a pan. They drank it, 
and handed back the pan, and he put it aside and passed out at the door. 
They followed, and shortly after two of them fired and killed him in- 
stantly. A son of Anderson had gone intd the garden, on the request of 
the Indians, to dig up some potatoes for them, and they killed him too. 
Olof, another son, was wounded in the shoulder and fell behind the 
stove as dead. The two daughters, aged seventeen and eight years, re- 
spectively, were abducted. As it was dark already then, however, the 
Indians camped in the wood about half a mile from the house. In the 
course of the night the horses broke loose and ran away, and when 
morning came the Indians had to hunt for them. This interval the girls 
made use of, and ran ofif and hid among the tall swamp grass, where 
afterward a fruitless search was made for them by the redskins and 
their dogs. Nor were the girls hurt by the bullets that came whistling 
through the rush. The Indians having left, the girls made haste to get 
away. They had subsequently, in Section 26, a narrow escape from being 
recaptured; there they had to secrete themselves in a dense shrubbery. 
Traveling east from there for about twenty miles, they fell in with some 
Americans, who accompanied them to Forest City. Mrs. Anderson, the 
mother, had at the very outset of the assault taken refuge in the cellar, 
together with a two-and-a-half year-old child. From there she witnessed 
the bloody tragedy being enacted in and around her house. She left 
her concealment at the earliest opportunity to get away from the scene 



SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF MINNESOTA 365 

of horrors. Having, however, been walking for a day and a night, she 
— to her great surprise — found herself only a hundred rods east of her 
home, her course having been a circuitous one. Here she almost stum- 
bled over the body of her son, Andreas. She took all her dear ones to 
be dead. Yet, one more surprise awaited her — when she opened the door 
of her house, she found her other son, Olof, preparing himself a dish of 
food. 

They now picked up what had been left undestroyed by the Indians, 
and, on the 25th, left the house in a sleigh drawn by oxen. Passing by 
the cabin, where Erikson and Foote had been left, and noticing the 
strange ways of the dog, they stopped and entered the house, where they 
found both the wounded men. They now changed their sleigh for a 
wagon, took Erikson and Foote with them, and started for Forest City, 
where they arrived on the twenty-sixth of August. 

As early as the twenty-first the greater part of the settlers in the 
town of Dovre had left their homes, taking along w'ith them their cattle, 
dogs, and such household articles which could be easily transported. 
One of the caravans was attacked at Diamond Lake, on its way to 
Forest City. With the exception of Andreas Petterson and Johan Back- 
lund, they all abandoned the cattle and arranged their wagons as a sort 
of barricade, behind which they took their stand. They succeeded in 
killing one Indian, whereupon the rest of the savages withdrew, carrying 
with them their dead comrade. Of the whites Backlund and Petterson 
were killed. The head of the former was found in the road near by, 
with its straw hat on. Petterson's body lay not far off with two knives 
sticking in the abdomen. He had been passionately addicted to the use 
of snuff-tobacco, and now the Indians had cut off the two of his fingers 
used in carrying the snuff to the nose, and putting them in his snuffbox, 
left the latter in his pocket. 

What were the feelings of the settlers on meeting again with their 
dear ones from whom they had been separated during the days of horror, 
can more easily be imagined than described. Hardly a family but one 
or more of its members had been either killed or carried off into a state 
of subjection, in many cases worse than death. The greater part of the 
houses in the township lay in ruins, the cattle had been abducted, imple- 
ments and furniture stolen, and it took a long time before the last 
vestiges of the devastation were defaced. One thing is still remembered. 



366 SWEDISH-AMERICANS OF ^IIXXESOTA 

being related bv father to son ; the courage and firmness of Mrs. Ander- 
son through which three human hves were saved from death. 

According to official reports, the number of the victims ran up 
toward seven or eight hundred, soldiers included ; but old settlers put 
them at about one thousand. Their graves are adorned by no monuments. 
Posterity, however, will give them credit for having fallen on a field far 
nobler than many of those stained by the blood of soldiers in actual war- 
fare. They fell the champions of civilization against barbarity, and the 
people in Minnesota now reaping the benefits of their sufferings and 
death, will preserve them in kind remembrance.